China unveils plan for huge anniversary military parade
China Plus

About 15,000 personnel, over 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of weaponry and equipment will be part of the upcoming October 1 National Day military parade, in 59 formations and echelons, accompanied by the Central Military Band of People's Liberation Army of China.


Major General Cai Zhijun speaks at a briefing on arrangements for National Day military parade in Beijing, September 24, 2019. (Photo: IC)

The 80-minute military parade, which will highlight China's military advances over the past 70 years, will be the biggest in recent years, according to Major General Cai Zhijun, deputy director of the Leading Group Office of Military Parade and deputy director-general of the Operation Bureau of the Joint Staff Department at the Central Military Commission (CMC).

He made the remarks at a press conference briefing the military parade arrangements for celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Chinese President Xi Jinping will inspect troops.

This military parade is the first since the entire Communist Party of China (CPC), the military and the whole nation entered the new era under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core, Cai said.

The parade will showcase the great accomplishments made in military reform and China's will to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests, and uphold world peace and regional stability.

A total of 188 foreign military attaches from 97 countries based in China have been invited to watch the military parade, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, director general of the Information Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense, confirmed at the press conference.

New weapons and equipment to be inspected

New weapons and equipment of the army, navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force will be inspected. Some advanced equipment will be on display for the first time.

Much unmanned equipment will make debut at the parade as a demonstration of the development direction toward unmanned combat in the army, navy and air force.

All weapons on display are made in China, and are currently in service, which reflects China's ability of independent innovation in national defense research and development, said Major General Tan Min, executive deputy director of the Military Parade Joint Command Office and deputy chief of staff of the Central Theater Command (CTC) of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Informatization is one of the main features of the parade. Equipment related to information communication, mapping and navigation and meteorology will be inspected.

"It means better command and control capability, strike accuracy, battlefield adaptability and combat effectiveness," Tan said.

Another highlight of the upcoming parade is the use of an analog simulation system, which is important in deducing the overall plan and demonstrating the formations in 3D.

First-times of the military parade

Many formations will be making their debut to the public, including the formation of military officers, military academies and civilian personnel.

There will be a formation of military flags, displaying the PLA military flags during the Agrarian Revolutionary War (1927-1937), the war of resistance against Japanese aggression (1937-1945), and the Liberation War (1945-1949), as well as the flags of honorary PLA units. The formation is intended to add a sense of history to the military parade, to commemorate military martyrs and carry forward revolutionary traditions.

There will also be a formation of peacekeepers for the first time. China is the biggest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. More than 2,500 Chinese peace troops are safeguarding peace at the risk of their lives in the UN's seven peacekeeping mission areas.

"China has no intention, nor need, to flex its muscles through advanced weapons displayed in the upcoming National Day military parade," said Wu, responding to a journalist's question on China's intention of showing new weaponry. He added that China's stronger army force is meant to safeguard world peace.

Most formations will be headed by two commanders, who are also generals. The number of high-level commanders and generals participating in the military parade will reach a historic level, according to Cai.

Female generals will join the parade for the first time.