Suspected of corruption, China expels 2 ex-defense chiefs from party

Suspected of corruption, China expels 2 ex-defense chiefs from party

Cases of Li Shangfu and Wei Fenghe transferred to procuratorial organs of military for examination, prosecution

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – China on Thursday, in a rare case, expelled two former defense ministers from the ruling Communist Party, state media reported.

Li Shangfu and Wei Fenghe were removed from the party, according to a decision taken by the Political Bureau of the CPC, which convened early Thursday under President Xi Jinping.

The duo has been suspected of taking bribes among other corruption charges as Beijing said they were expelled for “serious violation of party discipline and the law.”

The Political Bureau of the CPC has decided to transfer their cases to procuratorial organs of the military for examination and prosecution.

Wei, who stepped down in late 2022 as defense chief, is accused of "helping others gain improper benefits in personnel arrangements."

Besides, he accepted "money and gifts in violation of relevant rules."

Li, who was picked by Xi as defense chief to succeed Wei, has been accused of similar charges - he "sought improper benefits in personnel arrangements for himself and others, took advantage of his posts to seek benefits for others, and accepted a huge amount of money and valuables in return."

The former defense minister "severely contaminated the political environment of the equipment sector in the military and the ethics of relevant industries."

Li went missing in late August last year and was sacked in October.

The duo was earlier removed from the CPC's Central Military Commission, which is also led by Xi.

Li was succeeded by Dong Jun, who was a Chinese naval commander before being tapped as defense minister last December.

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