US Secretary of State, Anthony BlinkenHe said on Friday that he knew nothing about China’s defense minister, Li Changfufrom He has been out of the public domain for more than two weeksWhich sparked speculation about his whereabouts.
In response to a question about this during a press conference at the State Department, Blinken avoided commenting on the information she published Financial TimesUnder which Washington suspects that Lee, who was appointed defense secretary in March, It can be found below House arrest as a result of the investigation.
“I have nothing to say about this matter. I do not know the status of the Minister of Defense. These are issues that ultimately concern the Chinese government,” he replied.
The news agency questioned a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman France Press agency On Friday, he responded regarding the alleged investigation that he was “not aware of the aforementioned situation.”
In any case, the minister said that the United States is “fully prepared” to cooperate with anyone who holds a responsible position in the Chinese executive branch.
Last public event he was seen at Lee, who has been sanctioned by Washington since 2018 for purchasing weapons from RussiaHe was present at a China-Africa security forum held on August 29, shortly after he traveled to Moscow and Minsk to meet with senior Russian and Belarusian officials.
Lee still appears on the Ministry of Defense website, and there are recent mentions of his name on social media networks in the Asian country.
US President Joe Biden did not publicly mention this issue, which became known two months later Restructuring the command of the People’s Liberation Army unit responsible for strategic missilesIt is an area containing nuclear projectiles. China announced last July that it had appointed new leadership for this department, without justifying the change, but the media reported on a corruption investigation that included its former chief, Li Yuchao, who disappeared from public events for weeks before this restructuring.
This situation also reminds us of former Foreign Minister Chen Gang, who was removed from his post without explanation last July after disappearing from public life.
The Chinese Communist Party expelled him from office without explanation, sparking all kinds of speculation about his downfall, from health problems to an alleged extramarital affair with a TV presenter or a political purge after months of internal conflicts within the party.
(With information from AFP and EFE)