China embraces new era of building strong military as grand parade staged

BEIJING, Oct. 1: A grand military parade, as part of the National Day celebrations, was staged in Beijing Tuesday to showcase China’s achievements in building a modern and strong national defense and armed forces over the past decades.

The parade marked the first overall public appearance of China’s armed forces after a massive reform over recent years.

All the armaments presented in the parade were made in China. Forty percent of the weaponry, including Dongfeng-41 intercontinental strategic nuclear missiles, Dongfeng-17 conventional missiles, H-6N long-range strategic bombers, J-20 stealth fighter jets and new-type combat drones, were unveiled for the first time.

Around 15,000 military officers and soldiers, more than 160 aircraft and 580 sets of equipment, presented in 15 foot formations, 32 armament formations and 12 air echelons, were reviewed in the parade.

The formations of Army, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force and Joint Logistic Support Force of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Armed Police Force showed up successively, presenting the brand-new appearance of China’s armed forces after the comprehensive reform and restructuring.

“The parade shows the enhanced capability of joint combat,” said Cheng Junping, an officer from the 77th Group Army.

A formation comprised of military academies joined the parade for the first time. It stood out with its strong education background as 71 percent of the members hold master’s degrees or higher.

A Chinese peacekeeper formation also made its debut. As the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China currently has more than 2,500 peacekeepers on duty in seven mission areas and the UN headquarters.

The PLA started with 20,000 soldiers in the eastern city of Nanchang in an armed uprising on Aug. 1, 1927, and has grown into a force with around 2 million servicemen and women.

It is taking a crucial leap in the new era from being simply large to being strong, as China aims to build it into a world-class force that obeys the Party’s command, can fight and win, and maintains excellent conduct.

In the new era, to meet the strategic demands of national security and development, China’s armed forces firmly implement the missions and tasks entrusted by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the people. They endeavor to provide strategic support for consolidating the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system, safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, protecting China’s overseas interests and promoting world peace and development.