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    China’s Defense Minister Has Been MIA for a Month. His Ministry Isn’t Making Any Comment

    China's Defense Minister Has Been MIA for a Month. His Ministry Isn't Making Any Comment

    — A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson said Thursday that he was “not aware of the situation” in the ministry's first public comments on the disappearance of the defense minister from public view about one month ago.

    Senior Col. Wu Qian, the director of the ministry's information office, gave only a one-sentence response when asked at a monthly news conference whether Li Shangfu is under investigation for corruption and if he is still the defense minister.

    “I'm not aware of the situation you mentioned,” Wu said in response to a question from a foreign news outlet.

    Li, who became defense minister when a Cabinet was named in March, hasn't been seen since giving a speech on Aug. 29. He is the second senior official to disappear this year, following former Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who was removed from office in July.

    The Chinese government has given no reason for his removal, or why both he and Li suddenly stopped making public appearances. There is no indication, at least so far, that their disappearances signal a change in 's foreign or defense policies.

    The disappearance of officials and other people without explanation isn't uncommon in China and is often followed months later by the announcement of criminal charges against the person. The disappearance of two sitting ministers in rapid succession, though, is unusual.

    The American ambassador to , Rahm Emanuel, tweeted earlier this…

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