New weaponry including missiles will be on display and war veterans will march down Beijing’s signature thoroughfare in a mega military parade to be held here as China marks the end of World War II and its victory over Japan on Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will be among 30 heads of states who have flown into Beijing to witness the parade.
India’s minister of state for external affairs, VK Singh is flying into Beijing this evening to attend the parade.
A day before the parade, Beijing’s streets had emptied out and shops, restaurants and malls were ordered shut.
Police and para-military personnel besides thousands of civilian volunteers have been deployed across the city to ensure there is no chink in the security armour. Print and television journalists covering the event have been instructed to report to a gathering point five-and-half hours before it starts for extensive security checks.
President Xi Jinping will deliver a speech before the parade, slated to begin at 10am.
Xi, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will inspect the troops afterwards.
The focus will be on the weaponry that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) –- the largest armed forces in the world–brings out to flaunt during the one-and-half hour parade.
“More than 500 pieces of the PLA’s latest ground and naval equipment as well as nearly 200 advanced aircraft will be displayed, 84% of which have never been viewed by the public,” the PLA Parade Joint Command was quoted by the China Daily newspaper.