Two Former Chinese Defense Ministers Expelled from Party for Corruption

June 28, 2024

Two Former Chinese Defense Ministers Expelled from Party for Corruption

In an unprecedented move, China’s Communist Party has expelled two consecutive former Defense Ministers on corruption charges.

The Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) reviewed and approved reports on Li Shangfu and Wei Fenghe, deciding to expel both from the Party and terminate their status as delegates to the 20th National Congress of the CPC.

Li Shangfu, who served as Defense Minister from March to October 2023, was accused of severely violating political and organizational discipline, including resisting organizational investigation, abusing his position for personal gain, and taking huge bribes. He was also suspected of offering bribes to others for illegitimate benefits.

Wei Fenghe, Li’s predecessor who held the position from 2018 to 2023, faced similar accusations. The report on Wei was particularly severe, stating that his “faith had collapsed and loyalty had shifted,” an extremely rare and harsh criticism in CPC parlance.

Both Li and Wei have been stripped of their military ranks – Li as a General of the Army and Wei as a General of the Rocket Force. Wei’s former positions, including Deputy Chief of Staff of the PLA and Commander of the Rocket Force, were particularly sensitive, given their strategic importance.

Expulsion from the Party is the most severe intra-party disciplinary action in China. These high-profile expulsions came after the People’s Liberation Army Daily published an editorial stating that the anti-corruption fight has entered “deep waters.”

On June 28, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the need to further improve the comprehensive and strict Party governance system during the 15th group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.


Chinese Hero Succumbs to Injuries After Protecting Japanese Citizens in Suzhou Attack

In a tragic follow-up to the knife attack reported earlier this week, the courageous woman who intervened to stop the assault has succumbed to her injuries. Hu Youping, a Chinese citizen, was severely wounded while attempting to shield a Japanese mother and child from the assailant. Despite extensive medical treatment, she passed away on June 26.

As previously reported, the incident unfolded at a bus stop in Suzhou’s High-Tech District around 4:00 PM on June 24. The attacker, wielding a knife, injured three individuals, including one Chinese national (Hu Youping) and two Japanese citizens. Hu Youping bravely intervened but, in the process, sustained serious stab wounds. Thanks to her selfless act, the Japanese child was able to escape unharmed.

State media outlets release more details. Witnesses and the mother recounted Hu Youping’s heroic actions. She initially grappled with the attacker, then embraced him from behind in an attempt to subdue him. Despite being stabbed, she continued to struggle, preventing the assailant from further harming others. With the help of bystanders, passing motorists, and police officers, the attacker, a 52-year-old unemployed man named Zhou, was eventually apprehended.

Hu’s heroic actions have now been posthumously awarded the title of “Model of Bravery and Justice.” The tragedy has resonated deeply with Suzhou residents and across China. Both foreign and domestic, as well the community mourns the loss of a hero woman. A spokesperson for the Suzhou Japanese Business Club acknowledged the unfortunate incident but emphasized that it was an isolated case.


U.S.-China Tensions Escalate in Taiwan Strait and South China Sea

Taiwan Strait: The US Indo-Pacific Command has announced a plan dubbed “Hellscape,” aimed at transforming the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hell using “a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles, surface vessels and underwater systems” to counter potential attacks from mainland China. This strategy is detailed on a US Navy news website. In response, Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Colonel Wu Qian criticized the US strategy, stating that those who threaten to turn others’ homes into hell should be prepared to face hell themselves. He condemned the US for its “insane” actions aimed at using Taiwan to contain China, highlighting that such efforts only reveal the grim fate awaiting Taiwanese separatists who depend on US support, eventually becoming pawns to be discarded.

South China Sea: Chinese state media CCTV reported on June 26 that a US military aircraft was recently detected dropping unidentified objects in China’s South China Sea. Chinese authorities immediately dispatched vessels to recover the items. Marine expert Yang Xiao revealed that the recovered objects included a device from Ultra Electronics, a company specializing in submarine detection services for the US Navy. This device can detect Chinese submarine signals and engage in underwater signal countermeasures. The drop occurred near Ren’ai Reef, a region known for its beautiful environment and playful dolphin populations. The sonar noise from these detectors disrupts the echolocation abilities of marine life, potentially leading to disorientation and stranding of dolphins and other sea creatures.

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