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Guns and drones: China's mighty military parade in pics

Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a parade of tanks, missiles and troops that displayed his country's growing military might on Thursday, but pledged to reduce troop levels by 300,000 to show his country poses no expansionist threat. Here are some stunning pics from the event.

world Updated: Sep 03, 2015 22:31 IST
China military
A soldier of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has his picture taken as others march in formation past the Tiananmen Square before the military parade. (Reuters Photo)

Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a parade of tanks, missiles and troops that displayed his country's growing military might on Thursday, but pledged to reduce troop levels by 300,000 to show his country poses no expansionist threat.

A massive parade through the heart of Beijing commemorated Japan's World War defeat seven decades ago, with helicopters zooming across the sky in an array forming the number 70. The event, which underlined Xi's determination to make China the pre-eminent Asian power, was shunned by most Western leaders.

Xi, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square before the parade, offered an unexpected olive branch by saying China would cut its troop levels by 300,000. That would streamline one of the world's biggest militaries, currently around 2.3-million strong. Xi gave no timeframe, though.

Read:China flaunts military might, says will cut forces by 300,000

Ater that, more than 12,000 soldiers, mostly Chinese but with contingents from Russia and elsewhere, began marching down Changan Avenue, led by veterans of World War Two carried in vehicles. They were followed by a range of ballistic missiles, tanks and armoured vehicles, many never seen in public before. Advanced fighter jets and bombers also buzzed overhead.

Xi was joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of several other nations with close ties to China, including Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

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Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China stand in formation as they gather ahead of a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-2.jpg

Military vehicles carry DF-15B short-range ballistic missiles during the military parade to mark the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing. (Reuters)

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Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in a car to review the army during the parade. (AP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-4.jpg

PLA navy soldiers stand on armored vehicles during the military parade. (Reuters)
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-5.jpg

Chinese soldiers stand in their Type 99A battle tanks while participating in the parade at Tiananmen Square. (AFP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-6.jpg

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in a car and waves during a troop review. (AP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-7.jpg

Military vehicles carry DF-31A long-range missiles past the Tiananmen Gate during the military parade. (Jason Lee/Pool Photo via AP)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-8.jpg

Birds are released at the end of the military parade. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-9.jpg

A boy holds the Chinese national flag as he and his grandfather wait for the performance of military helicopters and planes. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-10.jpg

People on a street take pictures as military aircraft perform during the military parade. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-11.jpg

Mexican soldiers march during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-12.jpg

Soldiers march in the military parade. (AFP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-13.jpg

Soldiers march in the military parade in Tiananmen Square. (AFP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-14.jpg

Soldiers march in a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (AFP Photo)
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Soldiers of the PLA hold guns while standing in armored vehicles during the military parade. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-16.jpg

Female soldiers of the PLA march during the military parade. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-17.jpg

Soldiers of the PLA march during the military parade. (Reuters)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-18.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin is assisted to his place as Chinese President Xi (right) watches ahead of a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II held in front of Tiananmen Gate, in Beijing. (AP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-19.jpg

Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd R) and guests Russian President Vladimir Putin (4th R), South Korean President Park Geun-Hye (6th R, in yellow), UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon (4th L), Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (6th L), Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev (7th L), and other dignitaries watch a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 3, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. Also seen are former Chinese presidents Hu Jintao (R) and Jiang Zemin (2nd R). (AFP Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/9/China-20.jpg

Chinese military personnel sing ahead of a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.(AP Photo)