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30 heads of state to attend China's V-Day celebrations

(Xinhua/ Updated: 2015-08-25 10:54

30 heads of state to attend China's V-Day celebrations

Guards of honor take part in the military parade rehearsal on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing on Sunday morning. Li Gang / Xinhua

BEIJING - Thirty heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye, will attend China's V-Day celebrations on Sept 3, a senior official announced on Tuesday.

Zhang Ming, vice-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a press conference that attendees of the events, including a military parade, will also include government representatives from 19 countries and heads of 10 international organizations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Six former politicians, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, will also attend.

Other heads of state and government leaders coming to Beijing include President of Myanmar Thein Sein, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and Choe Ryong-hae, a senior official of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Ambassadors and envoys to China will also be present, said Zhang.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not on the list. Asked about Abe's absence, Zhang said, "We have stressed several times that the celebrations are not targeting specific countries, not Japan, nor the Japanese people. It has no direct link to current Sino-Japanese relations."

The vice-minister said China has always advocated improving Sino-Japanese relations.

Commenting on top leaders of the United States, Britain and France not attending China's celebrations, he said, "We have invited leaders of relevant countries to join the Chinese people to celebrate this great day. But it is their own decision. For us, we respect and welcome all guests."

Dismissing concerns that China is flexing its muscles through the parade, Zhang said the country is only demonstrating its aspiration for peace and a firm will to defend it. "I believe China's peaceful development will continue to win the world's support, understanding and blessing."

30 heads of state to attend China's V-Day celebrations

Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a portrait of his father, war veteran Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, participates in the march of the Immortal Regiment at the Red Square, Moscow, May 9. [Photo/IC]

Sept 3 events not targeting any country

China "has taken notice" that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is unable to attend Beijing-based commemorations on Sept 3 marking victory in World War II, and the events "are not targeting any specific country," said Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Ming.

"We have taken notice that the Japanese side said Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe was unable to attend the Sept 3 commemorative activities because of 'parliamentary affairs'," Zhang said.

"We have stated several times that the events do not target any specific country, do not target today's Japan, not to mention the Japanese people, and it has no direct relevance to the current China-Japan relationship," Zhang said.

1,000 foreign troops to march in parade

Nearly 1,000 foreign troops from 17 countries will participate in the military parade, 11 to dispatch  formations and another six sending representative teams, said Qu Rui, deputy chief of the Operations Department of the General Staff Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army.

12,000 troops, 50 formations to march in parade

A total of 50 formations, including 11 foot formations, 2 mounted formations of Chinese veterans in the War of Resistance aganist Japanese Aggression from both the forces led by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and those by the Kuomintang (KMT) Party, 27 armament formations, 10 air echelons, will parade through the Tian'anmen Square on Sept 3, Qu Rui, deputy director of the Office of the Parade Leading Team and Deputy Chief of the Operations Department of the General Staff Headquarters, told a press conference on Aug 21.

In total, 12,000 troops, 500 pieces of more than 40 types of equipment, and nearly 200 aircraft of over 20 types will be demonstrated and the parade will last about 70 minutes, Qu said.

30 heads of state to attend China's V-Day celebrations

An artillery unit participates in the rehearsal. [Photo/Xinhua]

China to debut new homegrown armament

About 84 percent of the armament, to be showcased in the Sept 3 military parade, has never met the public before, said Qu Rui, deputy director of the Office of the Parade Leading Team and Deputy Chief of the Operations Department of the General Staff Headquarters on Aug 21.

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Second Artillery Force and Armed Police will debut their new armament and all of the armament are Chinese-made.


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