China showed off some new weapons, including a missile that is said to be capable of destroying an aircraft carrier, as it held a massive parade in Beijing Thursday to mark 70 years of Japan’s defeat in World War Two.
Some 12,000 troops and 200 aircraft, as well as tanks and missiles, were deployed for the parade which was presided over by President Xi Jinping.
Most of the weaponry on display was being shown to the general public for the first time, according to state media.
A highlight was the anti-ship “carrier killer” missile Dongfeng-21D.
More than 30 foreign government officials and heads of state including Russian President Vladimir Putin and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attended the event.
But many Western leaders and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away, BBC noted.
In his opening speech during the parade, Xi paid tribute to “the Chinese people who unwaveringly fought hard and defeated aggression” from Japan.
But in a surprise announcement, he said that China will reduce the size of its army by 300,000.
The country is committed to the path of “peaceful development”, Xi said at the event at Tiananmen Square.
“No matter how strong it becomes, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any nation,” said Xi, who is the commander of the nation’s armed forces.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest military, currently has 2.3 million members.
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