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China holds epic V-Day parade

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-03 15:09

China holds epic V-Day parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects troops of the Chinese People's Liberation Army during the commemoration activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - Thousands of Chinese troops, along with their counterparts from 17 countries, marched past Tian'anmen Square; tanks and armor vehicles mounted with drones and missiles rumbled by. They were saluted by military aircraft roaring overhead.

China put on a massive military parade Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and what it calls the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

It was a picture-perfect parade to show the world how far the country has come after a bitter victory seven decades ago, and also how far it could go for its hard-won peace and order.


In many ways, Thursday's parade - the 15th since 1949 and a part of China's larger WWII commemorations that have been in the run for months - was a first in the country. It was the first non-National day parade held by New China at the heart of Beijing, and the first to have invited foreign troops to march in it.

It was also China's first military parade observed by President Xi Jinping as the country's top leader.

On the Tian'anmen Rostrum where late Chinese leader Mao Zedong pronounced the birth of New China 66 years ago, Xi, dressed in a sharply cut, high-collared Mao suit, highlighted China's aspiration of peace.

"China will remain committed to peaceful development. We Chinese love peace. No matter how much stronger it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation," said Xi.

Xi also announced in his speech that China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000.

The Chinese president was joined by dozens of heads of state and government as well as international organizations including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye.

The United States, Britain and France sent government representatives to attend the parade. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former British prime minister Tony Blair were also present.

Their coming made the landmark event one with the widest foreign presence in the world among a series of V-Day commemorations.

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