China says anti-corruption efforts within military 'will never stop'
August 31, 2023 10:00 PM
China's defence ministry vowed Thursday that its campaign against corruption in the military "will never stop", following weeks of speculation about a reshuffling of leaders inside Rocket Force, which oversees its nuclear arsenal.
"At present, the fight against corruption has achieved overwhelming success and has been comprehensively consolidated," said defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian in response to a question about the whereabouts of a former Rocket Force commander.
"The Chinese military always adheres to the rule of law, comprehensively and strictly runs the army, and has zero tolerance for corruption and malpractice," said Wu.
"As long as the soil and conditions for corruption exist, our fight against corruption will never stop."
In late July, China announced that former navy commander Wang Houbin would take over as the new head of Rocket Force, as media reports emerged of a corruption probe.
Wang's predecessor, Li Yuchao, had not been seen in weeks, and state media offered no explanation for his removal.
One week earlier, President Xi Jinping called for increasing oversight of the military and the construction of a "modern system for military governance", in remarks to top leaders.
The same day, the military department responsible for buying China's weapons launched a crackdown on corrupt procurement practices dating back years.
The Rocket Force is a relatively new unit of the People's Liberation Army.
Its creation was announced in January 2016 after a major reorganisation of China's military structure.
It oversees China's arsenal of strategic missiles, both conventional and nuclear, and can both deter and strike, according to the government.
A US intelligence report issued in March said the Rocket Force's conventional missile capabilities "probably" pose a serious threat to US forces and bases in East Asia.