Beijing: China has appointed General Li Shangfu as the new Defense Minister. This is the same Chinese army on which the US had imposed sanctions. It is believed that this decision of China will further strain US-China relations. 65-year-old Shangfu Wei Feng is about to be replaced soon. Feng had announced his resignation in October itself. Bloomberg reported that his appointment was part of a list of names nominated at the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Sunday.
Shangfu is a graduate of the National University of Defense Technology of China. He has also worked at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. During his time there, China also successfully launched its first anti-satellite missile. Lee became the first soldier in the Strategic Support Force branch.
The Strategic Support Force branch was created in 2015, with a focus on the areas of space, cyber technology, political and electronic warfare to support China’s development. Lee was on the target of America since 2018. In fact, he played an important role in buying Su-35 fighter aircraft and S-400 missile systems from Russian arms dealer Rosoboronexport for China. At the time, he was overseeing Chinese defense technology as director of the equipment development department at the top military commission.
A number of sanctions were imposed by the US State Department on Lee, his department and Russian entities. Shangfu could not become a part of any kind of transaction in the American sector, apart from this, there was a complete ban on transactions in the financial system. The US had also banned Shangfu and all his properties and his visa. The Bloomberg report said that his appointment could lead to good progress in China’s aerospace defense technology.