China ready to showcase military prowess in big Beijing parade
The new weaponry to be displayed is expected to include the nuclear missile Dong Feng-41 with a range of over 12000 km and capable of delivering 10 nuclear warheads.Updated: Sep 30, 2019 20:03 IST
The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) military parade on Tuesday to mark the 70th year of the founding of new China under the Communist party rule will offer a rare glimpse into the country’s fast-developing arsenal of weapons and its expanding geopolitical ambition.
The new weaponry to be displayed is expected to include the nuclear missile Dong Feng-41 with a range of over 12000 km and capable of delivering 10 nuclear warheads.
Western media reports said the missile can reach the US in 30 minutes.
The 80-minute parade on Tuesday will include 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment, according to Ministry of Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Cai Zhijun.
Many new weapons “will be shown for the first time,” Cai told reporters last week. Asked whether that would include the Dongfeng 41, Cai said, “Please wait and see.”
A total of 32 armament formations will join the parade, including those of land combat operation, maritime combat operation, and air defence and missile defense.
Bombers, naval aircraft, fighters, and other weaponry will fly in 12 air echelons, Cai said.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is trying to ensure that images from the parade –to be overseen by CPC general secretary and President Xi Jinping – reach the widest possible audience.
So, earlier this month, it handed out more than 620,000 television sets to “…poor Chinese households… ahead of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.”
“The recipients include households in old revolutionary bases and poor areas in 24 provincial-level regions. Each will receive a 32-inch LCD color TV of a domestic brand,” official news agency, Xinhua reported.
The government has said the parade isn’t about China flexing its military muscle.
“China has no intention or need to flex its muscles in the military parade, Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence, has said
“Military muscle is not a bad thing. The key is how to use such muscle. After seven decades, it is time for China to show some muscle to the world. China’s strength is a reliable guarantee of national unity and world peace. It is also a solid foundation to act against any force that tries to sabotage regional peace and development. China has always pursued a defensive national defence policy, and the 70 years of peaceful rise is China’s greatest contribution to the development of mankind,” an opinion piece in the tabloid, Global Times said.
First Published: Sep 30, 2019 19:27 IST