Naval Power on Show in South China Sea Marine Parade
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, inspected the Chinese navy in the South China Sea on April 12.
It was the largest Chinese marine parade since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. Forty-eight warships, 76 warplanes and more than 10,000 soldiers and military officers attended, displaying an array of modern weapons and equipment, including ballistic missile submarines, new-generation attack submarines and the aircraft carrier Liaoning.
Distinct from the previous three marine parades conducted in the Yellow Sea, the most recent was held in the sensitive South China Sea, which analysts said shows China's determination to protect what it asserts are its sovereign rights in the area in the face of recent activity from US fleets, including the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, which has been active in the disputed waters in recent months. Speaking to news portal The Paper, maritime expert Zhang Xiaolin characterized the parade as a “milestone achievement of the Chinese navy.”