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China’s Defense Minister Under Investigation for Corruption

Li Shangfu likely will be removed from his position

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu is under investigation for corruption and likely will be removed, two U.S. officials said this week, in what would be the latest in a series of top-tier purges of Beijing's security ranks.

The expected purge of Li, who has been noticeably absent from public view for the past two weeks, in the wake of other dismissals will heighten a sense of uncertainty over how China's day-to-day foreign policy is being managed.

It will also further call into question Xi's leadership as he consolidates power, analysts say. They note that the narrowing of his inner circle to yes-men has deprived him of opinions and advice that could avert damaging decisions.

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