The Communist party government in China has sacked Li Shangfu as the country's defence minister, state broadcaster CCTV reported on October 24. Shangfu was out of public view since nearly the past two months.

The state media did not disclose the reason behind him being axed out of the Xi Jinping-led government. An official statement was yet to be issued by Beijing.

Shangfu disappeared from public life since August 29, after he delivered a public speech. He is the second high-ranking official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to go missing this year.

Earlier, foreign minister Qin Gang disappeared from public view in March, and his removal from the post was announced by Beijing in July.

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According to the CCTV report, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress – a top body of lawmakers – voted today to remove Shangfu as the defence minister. They also reportedly voted to remove Gang as state councillor, three months after he was ousted as the foreign minister.

The panel also gave its nod for the appointment of Yin Hejun as China's science and technology minister and Lan Foan as finance minister.

Shangfu was appointed as the defence minister in March this year following a cabinet reshuffle. His ouster, along with the removal of Gang, is unlikely a result of in any change in China's defence or foreign policies, analysts said.

The move, they claim, is linked to President Xi Jinping's recent moves to shore up authority, as he looks to cement his leadership in the party amid the current domestic economic distress.

Shangfu, notably, was sanctioned by the United States earlier this year, as he was charged by Washington of overseeing the purchase of weaponry from Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine war.