Defence Minister Li Shangfu, who has been missing from public view for more than two weeks, has been placed under investigation by Chinese authorities, according to 10 people familiar with the matter.
The investigation into Li relates to procurement of military equipment, according to a regional security official and three people in direct contact with the Chinese military. Reuters was unable to obtain details on which equipment purchases were under scrutiny.
Eight senior officials from the Chinese military’s procurement unit, which Li led from 2017 to 2022, are also under investigation, according to two of the people in direct contact with the military.
The probe into Li, who was appointed as defence minister in March, and the eight officials is being carried out by the military’s powerful disciplinary inspection commission, those two people said.