BEIJING, China: China has expelled nine military officials from its parliament, including four generals from the army’s strategic missile unit, in a sweeping reshuffle following the appointment of a new defence minister a day earlier.
The decision, reported late Friday by state news agency Xinhua, came after a meeting of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee. No explanation was, however, given for the dismissal of the officials.
The removals are one of a series of high-level restructuring moves in the military establishment since Defence Minister Li Shangfu was abruptly removed in October after months of speculation about his whereabouts. Shangfu was appointed in March and disappeared from the public eye in August before being formally sacked in October.
On Friday, Beijing named Dong Jun as the new defence minister, ending a month-long vacancy in the strategic post.
Recent months have also seen an overhaul of the leadership of China’s secretive Missile Force, the army unit that oversees Beijing’s nuclear arsenal, following media reports of a corruption investigation involving its former chief.
Nine officials fired from the National People’s Congress on Friday sat in parliament as unelected representatives.
Their dismissal suggests that these officers are under investigation and confirms some of the rumors that have been circulating on the subject, said SinoInsider, a US firm that specializes in Chinese politics.