On December 29, China appointed a new defense minister: Admiral Dong Jun, formerly the commander of the PLA Navy. On the same day, nine senior military officials were removed from their posts in the National People’s Congress, a strong indication that they will face criminal charges. There are rumors of a major corruption case unfolding in the Chinese military, with Dong’s predecessor as defense minister, Li Shangfu, also implicated.
What is happening in the PLA, and what are the implications for China’s military readiness?
In this video recorded on January 5, The Diplomat’s Shannon Tiezzi spoke to Lyle J. Morris, senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute Center for China Analysis, about China’s new defense minister and what’s driving arguably the biggest military purge in PLA history.