Tuesday, 25 January 2022

China’s 70-year parade shows global ambition

BEIJING: China’s Communist Party marked 70 years in power with a military parade Tuesday that showcased the country’s global ambitions.

Trucks carrying nuclear missiles designed to evade US defenses, a supersonic attack drone and other products of two-decade-old weapons development effort rolled through Beijing as soldiers marched past President Xi Jinping and other leaders on Tiananmen Square. Fighter jets flew over spectators who waved Chinese flags under a cloudy autumn sky.

The display highlighted Beijing’s ambition for strategic influence to match its status as the second-largest global economy, even as Xi’s government suppresses dissent that illustrates the tensions between a closed, one-party dictatorship and a rapidly evolving society.

Those strategic goals include displacing the United States as the Pacific region’s dominant power and enforcing potentially volatile claims to Taiwan, the South China Sea and other disputed territories.

“No force can stop the progress of the Chinese people,” Xi said in a nationally televised speech.

Xi was joined on the Tiananmen rostrum by Premier Li Keqiang, former Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin and other party figures. Authorities said the event would include 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment.

The anniversary commemorates the Oct. 1, 1949, founding of the People’s Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war with the Nationalist government, which retreated to Taiwan. The display of “high-quality weapons” is meant to show Beijing is on track to “rejuvenate China in the global arena,” said Henry Boyd, a military analyst at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.

“The message is, this is a great power China to be a taken seriously,” Boyd said. “It is not to be treated as an inferior.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended with a delegation of Hong Kong officials and dignitaries in a show of unity with the ruling party. Xi, wearing a gray Mao jacket, rode in an open-topped limousine past dozens of rows of truck-mounted missiles, armored personnel carriers and other military gear.

Check Also

UN warns of worst ‘cascade of human rights setbacks in our lifetimes’

Refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region ride a bus going to the ...

Leave a Reply