Mil­i­tary pa­rade to fo­cus on peace ef­fort

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO SHENGNAN zhaosheng­nan @chi­

China’s first mil­i­tary pa­rade mark­ing the end of World War II will not be an ex­er­cise in “mus­cle-flex­ing”, the For­eign Min­istry said on Tues­day.

“The goal is to show that China and the peo­ple of the world have the ca­pa­bil­ity and de­ter­mi­na­tion to de­fend peace,’’ For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said at a daily news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The pa­rade was one of sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties an­nounced by Bei­jing late on Mon­day to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of victory in WWII and the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (1937-45).

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and other Chi­nese lead­ers will at­tend the pa­rade and other events in­clud­ing a rally, a re­cep­tion and an evening gala in Bei­jing, the For­eign Min­istry said in a state­ment.

Hua said China will in­vite lead­ers of “all coun­tries rel­e­vant to the com­mem­o­ra­tion” and in­ter­na­tional bod­ies to at­tend the events.

The pa­rade, which will prob­a­bly be held in Septem­ber, will be the first such event in the cap­i­tal since Xi took of­fice and will mark a rare de­par­ture from the prac­tice of stag­ing pa­rades ev­ery five or 10 years on Oct 1, China’s Na­tional Day.

Na­tional po­lit­i­cal ad­viser Yin Zhuo said this year’s pa­rade may be smaller than those held on Na­tional Day, but it may show­case key mil­i­tary equip­ment and will honor spe­cial del­e­ga­tions, in­clud­ing those of mil­i­tary vet­er­ans.

Yin, also direc­tor of the Ex­pert Con­sul­ta­tion Com­mit­tee of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army navy, said it is vi­tal to show the world that China sup­ports the cur­rent world or­der, and is not seek­ing to chal­lenge or de­stroy it.

Dong Manyuan, vice-pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said it is com­mon prac­tice for coun­tries to stage pa­rades mark­ing key days, and the Chi­nese one aims to demon­strate the na­tion’s will to work with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to up­hold the post­war or­der.

The de­ci­sion to hold the pa­rade comes as peo­ple in some coun­tries want to blur their wartime his­tory and de­stroy the world or­der that has en­sured 70 years of peace, Dong said.

China was a main bat­tle­field in Asia and en­gaged the bulk of Ja­panese ground troops from 1937. In the next eight years, al­lied forces killed and wounded about 1.95 mil­lion Ja­panese sol­diers, with about 70 per­cent of th­ese ca­su­al­ties oc­cur­ring in China.

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