Li Shangfu

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Li Shangfu
Director of the Equipment Development Department
Assumed office
September 2017
Preceded by Zhang Youxia
Personal details
Born February 1958 (age 60)
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Alma mater National University of Defense Technology
Military service
Allegiance  China
Service/branch PLA Strategic Support Force
Years of service 1978–present
Rank PLALtGeneral r.png Lieutenant General

Li Shangfu (Chinese: 李尚福; pinyin: Lĭ Shàngfú; born February 1958) is a Chinese aerospace engineer and lieutenant general of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). He has been Director of the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission since September 2017. He previously served as Deputy Commander of the PLA Strategic Support Force and Deputy Commander of the PLA General Armaments Department. He spent 31 years working at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, including 10 years as its director.


Li Shangfu was born in February 1958 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, with his ancestral home in Xingguo County, Jiangxi Province. He is the son of Li Shaozhu (李绍珠), a Red Army veteran and former high-ranking officer of the PLA Railway Force.[1] Li Shangfu joined the PLA when he entered the National University of Defense Technology in 1978. After graduating in 1982, he began working at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center as a technician.[2]

Li rose through the ranks at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center over the decades. In December 2003, he was promoted to Director (Commander) of the center at the age of 45. In 2006, he attained the rank of major general.[2] In his ten years as director of the Xichang center, Li oversaw many rocket launches, including the launch of the Chang'e 2 lunar probe in October 2010.[3]

After 31 years working in Xichang, Li was appointed Chief of Staff of the PLA General Armaments Department (GAD) in 2013, replacing Maj. Gen. Shang Hong.[1][2] A year later, he was made Deputy Director of the GAD.[2]

In 2016, Li was appointed Deputy Commander of the newly established PLA Strategic Support Force, which is responsible for cyberspace, space, and other high-tech warfare. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in the same year.[2] In September 2017, Li was appointed Director of the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission, the successor department of the GAD, replacing General Zhang Youxia.[2]

In October 2017, Li was elected a member of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.[4]

On 20 September 2018, Li Shangfu, along with the Equipment Development Department, became the first persons (entities) to be sanctioned by the U.S. government for "engaging in significant transactions with persons" sanctioned under CAATSA, namely for transactions that involved ″Russia’s transfer to China of Su-35 combat aircraft and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment″.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ a b "七大军区岗位调动超30人 史鲁泽直升北京军区参谋长". Phoenix News (in Chinese). 8 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Zhao Lei (19 September 2017). "PLA says chief of its arms wing replaced". China Daily.
  3. ^ "李尚福任军委装备发展部部长 从事航天30余年". Sina (in Chinese). 18 September 2017.
  4. ^ "List of members of the 19th CPC Central Committee". Xinhua News Agency. 24 October 2017.
  5. ^ US sanctions Chinese military for buying Russian weapons CNN, 21 September 2018.
  6. ^ U.S. sanctions China for buying Russian fighter jets, missiles Reuters, 20 September 2018.
  7. ^ CAATSA Section 231: "Addition of 33 Entities and Individuals to the List of Specified Persons and Imposition of Sanctions on the Equipment Development Department" U.S. Department of State, September 20, 2018.