China has celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding with a massive military parade in Beijing showing off some of the world’s most advanced weaponry, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the backbone of its nuclear deterrence force.
Nearly 15,000 military personnel, more than 160 aircraft, and 580 pieces of weaponry and equipment were paraded in the Tienanmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday, as jubilant crowds cheered and waved Chinese flags and President Xi Jinping presided over the event.
Helicopters flew national flags across the sky and aircraft flew in formation to create a “70,” in honor of the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding.
The nuclear-capable DF-41 ICBM was paraded. Military analysts have said that the missile could reach the United States in just 30 minutes with up to 10 warheads for separate targets.
Also showcased were underwater vehicles — including what could be China’s first undersea drone — as well as a range of stealth drones and the giant JL-2 missile, the main weapon aboard China’s Jin-class fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
Addressing the event as he stood in Tiananmen Square — where chairman Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949 — President Xi said, “No force can shake the foundation of this great nation. Today, a socialist China is standing in front the world.”
Xi, who was dressed in a slate gray “Mao” suit and accompanied by his predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, said China’s military would resolutely safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace.
In remarks carried live on state television, the Chinese president further pledged that Beijing would pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, adding that China must maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and promote the peaceful development of relations with self-ruled Taiwan.
Reiterating Beijing’s position of “one Country, two Systems” on Hong Kong and Macao, as well as the “One-China” principle on Taiwan, Xi then emphasized, “The complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend; it is what the greater national interests entail and what all Chinese people aspire to. No one and no force can ever stop it!”
Hong Kong has been experiencing unrest in recent months.
The event was the country’s most important of the year as China looks to project its power in the face of growing challenges, including a trade war with the US.
In a separate speech during a Monday night reception, Xi further underlined China’s need to be unified under the Communist Party in order to overcome challenges, saying, “Unity is iron and steel; unity is a source of strength,” according to an English-language transcript from Beijing’s Foreign Ministry.
Xi is popular in China for his forceful campaign against official corruption and for overseeing what has become the world’s second-largest economy.
A civilian parade, with the participation of students, workers, and ethnic minorities, has also been planned, according to local media reports, after which 70,000 doves will be released to symbolize peace.
Source: Press TV