CHINA has celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding with a massive military parade in Beijing showing off some of the world’s most advanced weaponry, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the backbone of its nuclear deterrence force.
Nearly 15,000 military personnel, more than 160 aircraft, and 580 pieces of weaponry and equipment were paraded in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday, as jubilant crowds cheered and waved Chinese flags and President Xi Jinping presided over the event.
Helicopters flew national flags across the sky and aircraft flew in formation to create a ‘70’, in honour of the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding.
The nuclear-capable DF-41 ICBM was paraded. Military analysts have said that the missile could reach the United States in just 30 minutes with up to 10 warheads for separate targets.
Also showcased were underwater vehicles – including what could be China’s first undersea drone – as well as a range of stealth drones and the giant JL-2 missile, the main weapon aboard China’s Jin-class fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
Addressing the event as he stood in Tiananmen Square – where chairman Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949 – President Xi said, ‘No force can shake the foundation of this great nation. Today, a socialist China is standing in front the world.’
In remarks carried live on state television, the Chinese president further pledged that Beijing would pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, adding that China must maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and promote the peaceful development of relations with self-ruled Taiwan.
Reiterating Beijing’s position of ‘one Country, two Systems’ on Hong Kong and Macao, as well as the ‘One-China’ principle on Taiwan, Xi then emphasised, ‘The complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend; it is what the greater national interests entail and what all Chinese people aspire to. No one and no force can ever stop it!’