General Li Shangfu has been declared the new Defence Minister of China on Sunday. General Li Shangfu is considered the face of China’s military modernization efforts.
Because of further upgrading process in the Chinese army, the US had banned them on the charge of taking weapons from Russia. However, his new post in the Chinese system is being considered a diplomatic and formal post only.
Given the background of Li Shangfu, regional diplomats are also eyeing his appointment.
Shangfu’s tenure is starting at a time when efforts are on for military talks between the US and China. In August last year, the visit of the then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan further increased the bitterness in the relations between the two countries.
Li Shangfu is an aerostat engineer and has worked in China’s satellite program. China’s army has set a target of becoming world class by the year 2049. It is believed that the appointment of Li Shangfu in this direction is very important for President Xi Jinping.
In 2016, Li Shangfu became the deputy commander of the new Strategic Support Force of the Chinese Army. The aim of this branch of the Chinese military is to develop offensive capabilities in the space and cyber sector.
Lee was later appointed head of the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission. China’s Central Military Commission is headed by President Xi Jinping. Its job is to manage and administer the military in China.
While Li Shangfu was the director, China had bought the most advanced fighter aircraft Su-35 and missile defence system S-400 from Russia. The US had imposed sanctions on Li Shangfu in the year 2018 regarding this.