China purges army top brass ‘after missiles filled with WATER instead of fuel’ as Xi gears up Taiwan invasion force

China purges army top brass ‘after missiles filled with WATER instead of fuel’ as Xi gears up Taiwan invasion force

CHINA has ousted several top army officials after they made an embarrassing blunder.

The communist country expelled nine senior military officers on Friday after they filled missiles with water instead of fuel – according to US intelligence.

GettyChina has purged several top army officials after they milled missiles with water[/caption]

The blunder came after Xi Jingping seemed to hint at a reunification between China and Taiwan in his New Year’s addressAlamy

The nine generals removed were from the national legislative body and hailed from several military divisions.

Three were former commanders or vice commanders of the Rocket Force; one a former Air Force chief and one a Navy commander responsible for the South China Sea.

Four officers were responsible for equipment.

Many of those removed were from the Rocket Force – a key arm of the Chinese army overseeing tactical and nuclear missiles. 

The purge went so far as to axe even the Chinese defence minister, Li Shangfu, who disappeared for two months before being replaced in October.

Now, American intelligence claims military corruption led to the mistakes, which also included fields of silos fitted with faulty lids that prevented the missiles from launching. 

The purges are a blow to Xi – who has spent billions on buying and developing equipment as part of his modernising efforts to build a “world-class” military by 2050.

Aligning with those plans, Beijing’s oversized defence budget has grown more rapidly than the economy for some years. 

The recent downfall of generals and military equipment supplier has burst this bubble, and raised questions over whether there has been adequate oversight over the massive military investments as China tussles with the United States.

The mistake came just days after Xi Jingping made a chilling threat to 23million people in his New Year’s address, saying the nation would “surely be reunified” with Taiwan.

Since Xi took power in 2012, he has embarked on a anti-corruption crackdown among Communist Party and government officials, with the army being one of its main focus points.

The purge follows Xi Jinping‘s concerning New Year’s address where he hinted at a  “reunification” with separated Taiwan.

Xi Jinping gave his televised address and said the nation would “surely be reunified” with the island of 23million people.

While Taiwan has never formally declared itself independent, its current government vows it is – in spite of China claiming it as a province.

The island split from the mainland in 1949 during the civil war.

But in recent years Xi’s administration has been increasingly asserting its sovereignty over Taiwan through increased military pressure, and the leader has vowed to reunify the two by 2049.

Although he didn’t make any direct military threats in his New Year’s speech, the leader said: “China will surely be reunified, and all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose.

“Beijing has never ruled out using military action to force Taiwan back under its rule.

The speech was made just days ahead of Taiwan’s next scheduled democratic election on January 13.

GettyNine generals were removed from the legislature and were from different military divisions[/caption]

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