China’s new protection minister is a common the US sanctioned for purchasing Russian weapons | CNN


China on Sunday appointed a US-sanctioned common as its new protection minister.

The nation’s rubber-stamp legislature unanimously confirmed the appointment of Basic Li Shangfu, a veteran of the Individuals’s Liberation Military’s modernization drive, throughout a session on Sunday.

Consultants mentioned the appointment can be intently watched by Washington given Li’s background, regardless that the put up is seen as largely diplomatic and ceremonial.

In 2018, the administration of former US President Donald Trump sanctioned Li and China’s Tools Improvement Division – which he was in command of on the time – for buying Russian weapons, together with a Su-35 fight plane and a S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

His appointment was certainly one of a collection confirmed by China’s Nationwide Individuals’s Congress throughout its Sunday sitting. Different senior appointments included 4 new vice premiers – Ding Xuexiang, He Lifeng, Zhang Guoqing, and Liu Guozhong.

Following their nomination by the new premier Li Qiang, all 4 will function vice premiers on the State Council, the physique liable for reviving China’s economic system after three years of strict zero-Covid restrictions.

The appointment of Li Shangfu as protection minister comes at a time of more and more strained relations between Beijing and Washington.

Protection specialists advised Reuters that his appointment possible mirrored a reward for his work in modernizing China’s navy.

In 2016, Li was named deputy commander of the PLA’s then-new Strategic Assist Drive, an elite physique tasked with accelerating the event of China’s house and cyber warfare capabilities. He was then appointed head of the Tools Improvement Division of the Central Army Fee (CMC), China’s governing protection physique, headed by the nation’s chief Xi Jinping, Reuters reported.

Protection specialists mentioned Li’s historical past as a technocrat and aerospace engineer who labored in China’s satellite tv for pc program would play a key half in his new position.

“The operational and technological background of the following Chinese language protection minister is very pertinent provided that the PLA goals to turn out to be a world-class navy by 2049,” James Char from Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam Faculty of Worldwide Research advised Reuters.

“I believe he has been elevated to this place as a result of he’s delivered for Xi Jinping in key areas of modernisation,” Singapore-based safety analyst Alexander Neill from Hawaii’s Pacific Discussion board think-tank advised Reuters.

“That is somebody who should maintain their very own in entrance of a world viewers.”

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