The United States believes Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu has been placed under investigation and relieved of his command, reports said Friday, in what could be the latest sign of turmoil in Chinese leader Xi Jinping's government, just over six months after he installed a collection of loyalist leaders in his Cabinet.

Three U.S. officials and two people briefed on intelligence surrounding Li told the Financial Times that Washington has concluded that the defense chief, who took up his post in March, had been stripped of his responsibilities. They did not offer further insights into the probe.

Li, who has not been seen in public since Aug. 29, would be the latest senior Chinese official to lose his post, following Xi’s abrupt purge last month of two generals leading the country’s Rocket Force, which oversees the country’s nuclear and land-based missile arsenal, and the still-unexplained-disappearance of then-Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who was stripped of his position in July, seven months into the job.