China purges NINE top generals as Xi Jinping continues ‘Stalin-like’ crackdown with hundreds of officials ‘erased’

China purges NINE top generals as Xi Jinping continues ‘Stalin-like’ crackdown with hundreds of officials ‘erased’

CHINA has fired nine top generals as the country carries out a new wave of purges against key government officials.

Xi Jinping‘s Stalin-like crackdown has seen several top-level commanders being removed from their positions and facing anti-corruption investigations.

APNine top commanders have been ‘erased’ from China’s National People’s Congress[/caption]

ReutersThe chops come as Xi Jinping carries out a new wave of purges against key government officials[/caption]

Nine top commanders were dismissed from the National People’s Congress (NPC), state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Hailing from several military divisions, three were former commanders or vice commanders of the PLA Rocket Force, which handles the missiles division and a key component of China‘s nuclear arsenal.

One is a former Air Force chief and another a Navy commander responsible for the South China Sea, Reuters reports.

The remaining four officers were responsible for equipment.

But no reason for their disqualification has been mentioned, CNBC reported.

The campaign has been viewed by some experts as a way for Xi Jinping to remove political opponents or individuals viewed as posing threats to his leadership.

“It is a clear sign that they are being purged,” said Andrew Scobell, Distinguished Fellow for China at the United States Institute for Peace.

Analysts said the massive purge of Chinese generals has weakened the People’s Liberation Army.

They argue that exposing deep-rooted corruption may take longer to repair and could setback Chinese leader’s drive for military modernisation.

“I think there may be a great deal of corruption in the Chinese defense industry and inevitably, it will have an impact on the People’s Liberation Army’s combat effectiveness,” Lin Ying-yu, a China military expert at Tamkang University in Taiwan, told VOA.

He added that the purge in the military also shows Xi’s desire to reinforce his control over the arms trade in China.

“In the past, a large part of China’s arms trade was controlled by the princelings, who are descendants of senior Communist Party leaders,” he told VOA.

“The purge probably means Xi wants to reassert his control over arms trade.”

Xi has pumped billions into buying and developing equipment as part of his modernising efforts to build a “world-class” military by 2050, with Beijing’s outsized defence budget growing at a faster pace than the economy for some years.

The nine disqualifications in Xi’s alleged purge follow the disappearance of hundreds of officials.

Former foreign minister Qin Gang has been “tortured to death” following his unexplained removal, reports have claimed.

Other high-profile victims including former defence minister Li Shangfu have also been missing for months, with a number having apparently died.

But with China’s security levels having ramped up drastically, it’s virtually impossible to know what’s going on inside Beijing.

And as a result of the shocking number of disappearances Chinese officials, president Xi Jinping has been accused of overseeing something truly barbaric.

Much like Vladimir Putin’s fears of being betrayed by someone from within his inner circle, 70-year-old Xi appears to be acting on his own paranoia.

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