The Washington PostThe Washington Post

China's military shake-up may hint at corruption — or Xi Jinping's weakness

By Lily Kuo

02 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has overseen an unexpected leadership reshuffle in the country's military, marking the largest purge in years. It included the appointment of new heads for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force, which controls China's nuclear arsenal and conventional missiles.

An unexpected leadership reshuffle at the top levels of China's military this week marks what analysts say is the biggest purge in years, as Chinese leader Xi Jinping oversees a sweeping campaign to cement loyalty and assert more control over the People's Liberation Army.

During a ceremony in Beijing on Monday, Xi appointed new heads of the PLA Rocket Force, which controls the country's nuclear arsenal and conventional missiles, including the intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the continental United States.

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