China Appoints First Naval Officer as New Defence Minister

On the same day, the National People's Congress announced its decision to revoke the qualifications of nine deputies elected from the PLA.

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Dong Jun, China's new Minister of Defence. [ File Photo]

On December 29, 2023, China’s National People’s Congress approved the appointment of Dong Jun as the Minister of Defence, ending a months-long vacancy in the position. Beginning his service in 1979, Dong served as the Commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy from September 2021 to December 2023. On December 26, the Central Military Commission announced the new Commander of the Navy in a promotion ceremony, without revealing Dong’s transfer until days later. Dong is the first Defense Minister from the Navy, an exception from the representatives of the country’s existing grand land force having the position.

On the same day, the National People’s Congress announced its decision to revoke the qualifications of nine deputies elected from the PLA. Among the revoked generals were high-ranking officers from the PLA Navy and the Rocket Force, which is responsible for China’s nuclear arsenal, including former Rocket Force commander Li Yuchao.

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