China removed its Defense Minister General Li Shangfu two months after he went out of public view, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Li was appointed as the defence minister during a Cabinet reshuffle in March. However, he was last seen giving a speech on August 29. Li’s removal comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping removed former Foreign Minister Qin Gang in July in a similar manner.

Before his removal, Qin had also disappeared from public view. On Tuesday, Chinese broadcaster CCTV said that both Li and Qin had been removed from the state council, China’s Cabinet and the centre of government power, reported AP.

No reason was given for removing either of the two leaders. However, Li is under sanctions from the United States after he oversaw weapon purchases from Russia. Li is barred from entering the US.

According to a report by Reuters last month, China’s military’s disciplinary inspection commission was probing Li for alleged corruption in procuring military equipment.

On September 8, US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel had also asked on X whether Li was under house arrest.

“President Xi’s cabinet lineup is now resembling Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None,” Emanuel had said in a tweet. “First, Foreign Minister Qin Gang goes missing, then the Rocket Force commanders go missing, and now Defense Minister Li Shangfu hasn’t been seen in public for two weeks. Who’s going to win this unemployment race? China’s youth or Xi’s cabinet?”