Pronunciation: Wei Fenghe (pronounciation: Way Feng-huh)
Title: CCP Central Committee Member; Central Military Commission
Member; Minister of National Defense; State Councilor
Salutation: General Wei
Originally from Shandong province, Wei Fenghe was appointed minister of National Defense and state councilor on March 19, 2018. Previously, Wei was chief of staff of the PLA Second Artillery Forces (2006-2012), Major General of the PLA (2004-2008) and Lieutenant General of the PLA (2008-2012). Wei has been a long-time ally of President Xi Jinping’s. In 2012, he was one of the first senior military officials to swear his loyalty to the president.
In 2016, the PLA Second Artillery Corps dissolved into two subsections: The PLA Rocket Force and the Strategic Support Force. Wei then assumed the position of commander of the PLA Rocket Force, a subsection of the Chinese Armed Forces that focuses on cruise missile and nuclear ballistic units. In forming the PLA Rocket Force, Wei helped President Xi as he reorganized the divisions, further cementing himself within the president’s good graces.
In 2017, China’s defense spending budget reached 1.04 trillion RMB, a 7 percent growth from 2016. In forecasting the future of China’s Defense Department, conceivably, Wei will continue to focus on following Xi’s agenda, as the president’s instructions offer “important guidelines for building a world-class strategic force to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”