Marking 70 years since the end of World War Two in Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on 3 September that China will cut its troops by 300,000.
Speaking from a rostrum opposite Tiananmen Square, the President said China will go down the path of peaceful development. The event was covered live on state television.
Displaying its military might, including long range missiles and new carrier aircraft, China held a military parade to commemorate its victory over Japan in World War II at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. China has displayed 84% of its new weapons, including long, medium range missiles, aircraft and tanks, indigenously developed, according to the military.
Troops from 17 countries, including Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Serbia, Tajikistan and Russia, formed part of 1000 foreign soldiers who took part in China’s first military parade aimed at highlighting the excesses committed by Japanese troops against Chinese in WW II, in which, according to Chinese historians, over 20 million people were killed, eight million forced into labour and thousands of women held as sex slaves.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among 30 world leaders who attended the parade. Minister of state for external affairs General (retd) VK Singh represented India at the parade. India was also invited to send its soldiers for the parade, but New Delhi decided against it.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, and his wife Peng Liyuan, received the foreign leaders ahead of the parade. Furthermore, Singh will also meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Besides sending a 75-member contingent to take part in the parade, Pakistan is represented by its President Mamnoon Hussain and Chairperson and Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad.
More than 40,000 spectators, including Chinese officials, citizens and foreign guests took part in the event which was held under a massive security blanket.
Countries like India and Japan may act quickly on the basis of Beijing’s new weapons capability and try to match it, said an expert.
Zhang Yunling, director of international relations at the government-run China Academy of Social Sciences, told Times of India, “India will allocate more on defence. It is already an important military power and Shizo Abe, on the other hand, will use the parade as an excuse to increase defence budget.”