China shows off newest weapons in huge military parade

Violet Powell
July 31, 2017

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) get ready for the military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the army at Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, Sunday. It was the first time a parade has been held to mark the occasion.

"I firmly believe that our gallant military has both confidence and ability to defeat all invading enemies", said Xi, who commands the world's largest army of 2.3 million.

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has increased control of the ruling Communist Party over the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which has the world's largest standing military.

However, there was no direct reference to India or to the ongoing standoff in Doklam in Xi's speech but, his reference to "invading enemies" can be seen as a clear indication at what he was talking about.

Xi said the Chinese army must "unswervingly stick to... the Party's absolute leadership". Without naming any official, Mr Yi said India should "conscientiously withdraw" its troops from the area that China calls Donglang and claims as its territory, but which India and Bhutan call Doklam and consider part of the tiny Himalayan kingdom.

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The parade at the base, regarded as the biggest training ground in Asia, showcased numerous new weapons, including nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Dongfeng missiles which include short, long and medium rage of rockets, variety of armoury including light tanks, drones were also displayed along with helicopter-borne troops demonstrating quick landing and taking combat positions.

Live state television broadcasts showed Xi, dressed in fatigues and speaking from an open-top jeep, telling his troops that China needed a strong military "more than ever" as it moved "closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation". The PLA was founded on August 1, 1927 by the Communists against the Kuomintang regime.

The performance showed solid achievements of the PLA on its path to a strong army under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core since the 18th CPC National Congress.

Over 600 pieces of armaments and 100 aircraft were displayed, almost half of which were paraded for the first time, according to Ren.

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