Unilateral US sanctions play a major role. New Defense Minister Li Shangfu is included in the sanction. US Defense Secretary Austin faces an embarrassing situation | Blog post

March 12, 2023 20:56 Last Update: 21:14

The two sessions in 2023 will be the government’s “change” year, and the new Prime Minister Li Qiang’s cabinet has been approved and formed.

Ding Xuexiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, became the deputy chief executive. The other three are He Lifeng, former head of the National Development and Reform Commission, Liu Guozhong, former secretary of the Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee, and Zhang Guoqing, former secretary of the Liaoning Provincial Party Committee.

As for the five state advisers who also assist the Prime Minister, they include the new Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu, the re-elected Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong, Secretary General of the State Council Wu Zhenglong, the former Secretary of Committee Guizhou Provincial Party Chen Yiqin, and re-elected Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

Ding Xuexiang led the Vice Premier and State Councilor to take the oath.  AP photos

Ding Xuexiang led the Vice Premier and State Councilor to take the oath. AP photos

The outside world has noticed that among the newly appointed State Councilors and Deputy Chief Officers of the State Council, relatively few of them were directly promoted by the ministries and commissions of the State Council. Most of them are promoted by local officials who once ruled one side.

Ding Xuexiang worked in the central government for many years in the past, was once the director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, and was officially promoted to the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee last year. Lifeng is from the National Development and Reform Commission, known as “small state affairs”. Liu Guozhong once served as the secretary of the Shaanxi Provincial Party Committee, and Zhang Guoqing once served as the Secretary of the Liaoning Provincial Party Committee.

Qin Gang, who officially took over as Minister of Foreign Affairs at the end of December last year, is now serving as a State Councilor again, becoming the “leader of the party and the state”, meaning that Qin Gang has been promoted to two levels from the level of deputy minister within three months, which is very rare in Chinese politics It also highlights Beijing’s strategic needs for the United States.


Chen Yiqin, who once ruled Guizhou Province, was promoted to state councilor, becoming the only “state deputy-level” female official in the current government.

The National People’s Congress also elected the leaders of various ministries and State Council commissions, with the exception of Anhui Provincial Party Secretary Zheng Shanjie who replaced He Lifeng as the National Development and Reform Commission, and Central Military Commission member Li Shangfu who replaced Wei Fenghe as Minister of National Defence, most of the others were continued.

How to revive China’s economy after the epidemic will be the biggest challenge for the new State Council. The outside world is worried about the re-election of 65-year-old Yi Gang as governor of the People’s Bank of China. At the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October last year, he was widely expected to retire because he was not included in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The analysis pointed out that China’s financial reform is entering a deep water area, and the change of coach does not show China’s consistent and consistent attitude in response to changes in the situation.

Trade Minister Wang Wentao was also re-elected. He has fought against the United States many times in the previous Sino-US trade war and has rich fighting experience.

In the State Council’s institutional reform plan, the restructuring of the Ministry of Science and Technology is a major focus. We will promote and improve the new system throughout the country, and break through the technical difficulties that have “set our necks” in recent years. This is an important task with long-term continuity, so Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang was also re-elected.

Among the new team of the State Council, Li Shangfu, the new Minister of National Defense and a member of the Central Military Commission, are the ones that the foreign media are talking about the most. The war of the future will be an unmanned war, a battle of advanced high-tech weapons and equipment. Unmanned aircraft, unmanned ships, and even robot soldiers will appear on the battlefield instead of traditional soldiers. China also actively developing a variety of new weapons. including drones, equipment. The outside world believes that this is also the reason why Li Shangfu’s general assembly background was reused.

Li Shangfu, China’s new defense minister and member of the Central Military Commission.

On the other hand, the outside world is also worried that Li Shangfu is the first general of the People’s Liberation Army sanctioned by the United States in history. According to data, on September 20, 2018, the State Department announced the United States that it is involved in a “major transaction” with Rosoboronexport, a major arms exporter from Russia. “In accordance with the “Act on the Use of Sanctions to Deter America’s Enemies” which was signed and entered into force in August 2017, sanctions were placed on the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission at the time and Minister Li Shangfu. He said The US State Department said the sanctions relate to China’s purchase of 10 Su-35 fighter jets in 2017 and the S-400 surface-to-air missile system in 2018. The sanctions prohibit the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission and Li Shangfu himself from applying for export licenses and entering the US financial system, adding him to the US Treasury Department’s special designations list, and banning US citizens from doing business with him.

Buying arms from Russia is a normal military trade. American politicians want to curb China’s illegal unilateral sanctions. They will find some Chinese companies or officials to punish for “three days but two days.” This time he embarrasses the United States Department of Defense. Secretary Austin continued to release earlier reports that he wanted to contact the Chinese Minister of Defense to discuss the incident when the United States shot down gas on Chinese civilians.

US Secretary of Defense Austin. AP photos

Wei Fenghe was about to retire at that time, and it was customary to study the relationship with the US military only after the new defense chief took over. But now that Li Shangfu has decided to “take the wave” and is ready to talk to Austin, how will Austin react? A link shows that the so-called “sanctions” of the United States are fundamentally wrong policies. If you do not receive the wave, the Department of Defense of the United States says every day that it hopes to communicate directly.

China’s Defense Minister will also be responsible for foreign military exchanges. In the future, he will also contact the Defense Ministers of different countries. The Shangri-La Security Dialogue is held in Singapore every year. As an important member of the region, it is impossible for Singapore did not invite the Chinese Defense Minister to participate, at that time, this general who is also “approved” by the United States will openly conduct foreign affairs activities, which is undoubtedly a “show” for the United States.. subtle.

This problem is caused entirely by the crazy unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, and the embarrassing consequences will of course be borne by the United States itself. As for, some foreign media analysts believe that the relationship between China and the United States is currently tense, and China may want to take the United States to the diplomatic field through this move . Some people familiar with the political situation in Beijing believe that this is not the so-called “China wants to deliberately embarrass the United States.” Whether it is sanctioned by the United States will not be a condition for the central government to consider the applicant. for the Defense Minister. The appointment of Li Shangfu only shows that China will follow itself That is, if we set the goal of development, we can choose whoever the main defense is needed for military development, and will not be affected by the disturbance of the United States.

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