HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesUS Intelligence Shows Flawed China Missiles Led Xi to Purge Army

US Intelligence Shows Flawed China Missiles Led Xi to Purge Army

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

US intelligence indicates that President Xi Jinping’s sweeping military purge came after it emerged that widespread corruption undermined his efforts to modernize the armed forces and raised questions about China’s ability to fight a war, according to people familiar with the assessments.

The corruption inside China’s Rocket Force and throughout the nation’s defense industrial base is so extensive that US officials now believe Xi is less likely to contemplate major military action in the coming years than would otherwise have been the case, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing intelligence.

The US assessments cited several examples of the impact of graft, including missiles filled with water instead of fuel and vast fields of missile silos in western China with lids that don’t function in a way that would allow the missiles to launch effectively, one of the people said.

The US assesses that corruption within the People’s Liberation Army has led to an erosion of confidence in its overall capabilities, particularly when it comes to the Rocket Force, and also set back some of Xi’s top modernization priorities, the people said. The graft probe has ensnared more than a dozen senior defense officials over the past six months, in what may be China’s largest crackdown on the country’s military in modern history.

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