Female honour guards set for China's WWII anniversary parade | world | Hindustan Times
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Female honour guards set for China's WWII anniversary parade

world Updated: Aug 24, 2015 01:54 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
World War II

Soldiers training ahead of the military parade in Beijing, commemorating the end of the second World War. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

They are about six feet in height, on average just 20 years old and all set to steal the show at the prestigious military parade to be held in Beijing commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II on September 3.

Besides displaying new weaponry at the parade, China will for the first time in its military history unveil 51 elegant young women – female guards of honour – to an international audience at the parade.

A total of 51 servicewomen from the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) three wings will march with 156 male honour guards, a military source said.

“The servicewomen are the first females in the 63-year history of the PLA honour guards. They have been in active service since last May,” the report said.

Female honour guards were first used in May during a diplomatic ceremony to welcome Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.

“The first group of female honor guards, 30 in total, was recruited in February and underwent intensive training for three months. The guards are above 1.73 meters tall, and 80 percent of them hold college degrees,” state media reported.

According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the competition to be chosen to take part in the parade was tough.

Out of the existing 120 women honour guards, only 62 made the cut. The number will trim further, with only 51 spots available for the big day, the report said.