In the first year of his unprecedented third term, Chinese President Xi Jinping is facing a storm of turbulence within his hand-picked ruling elite. Two senior members of China’s cabinet, Defense Minister Li Shangfu and Foreign Minister Qin Gang, have gone missing, raising concerns about the leadership and judgement of Xi. Their sudden absence comes as Xi seeks to eliminate perceived threats and vulnerabilities in a drive to bolster national security.
Both Li and Qin served as state councillors, a senior position in the cabinet, and their removal has caused uncertainty and speculation about the stability of Xi’s regime. Additionally, the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, an elite unit set up by Xi, has experienced the unexpected removal of two top generals, sparking concerns of a broader purge within the military.
The lack of transparency from the Chinese government regarding these personnel shake-ups has affected Beijing’s international image and raised doubts about the stability and efficiency of the one-party system. Experts warn that the growing uncertainty within China’s ruling elite exposes the vulnerabilities of the system, exacerbated by Xi’s concentration of personal power.
The potential downfall of Xi’s loyalists reflects negatively on the top leader, who has centralized decision-making and power to an unprecedented extent. Analysts believe that there will be questions within the Communist Party about Xi’s selection of individuals for important positions if his hand-picked subordinates continue to face troubles.
The turmoil within China’s ruling elite comes at a challenging time for the country, with major economic troubles and increased competition with the United States. The instability within Xi’s regime risks fueling a crisis of confidence in the second largest economy in the world.
It remains to be seen how these developments will impact China’s relations with the international community and its stability on the world stage. The lack of transparency and growing concerns about party overreach and dwindling transparency in China are raising alarm bells for the international business community.
– “Hong Kong – At the onset of his unprecedented third term, Xi Jinping stacked China’s top ranks with a slate of loyalists who he presumably hoped would smooth the paths to achieve his grand vision for China.”
– Definition of state councillors: Senior position in the Chinese cabinet
– Definition of People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force: An elite unit set up by Xi to modernize China’s missile capabilities
– Definition of Communist Party: The ruling political party in China