China flexes its military might
- Shows army strength on 70th Anniversary of World War II victory over Japan
- Plans to reduce troops by 3,00,000
China put on a mighty display of military power in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War 2.
Speaking from the rostrum of the Forbidden City, Jinping inaugurated the military parade talking about China’s path of peaceful development and announced a troop cut of 300000 soldiers to streamline its armed forces.
Xi, however, did not give a time-frame for reducing the numbers.
“Here, I announce that China will cut the number of its troops by 300000,” Xi said, after urging the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be loyal to nation and its people.
Mr. Xi made the announcement, while speaking at the victory parade being held to commemorate 70th anniversary of the victory against Japan in the World War II.
This is part of efforts by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which operate with annual defence budget of USD 145 bullion, the second highest after US to streamline its force, as it launched unprecedented modernisation with new weapons and technology.
The PLA which was 4.5 million strong till 1980 was first resized to three million in 1985 and later to 2.3 million.
The cut of three lakh troops comes in the back drop of massive anti corruption drive being conducted by Mr. Xi who, beside being the President, is also the chief of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the head of the military.
“It’s a common practice for Chinese leaders to pledge disarmament after big parades … China downsized its army by one million in 1985, after the 1984 parade,” Song Xiaojun, a military commentator, told the China Daily newspaper, adding that both Jiang and Hu had also announced disarmament by 500,000 and 200,000.
Xi’s speech was rich in anti-Japanese rhetoric but in the same breath he talked about peace.
“In the interest of peace, China will remain committed to peaceful development. We Chinese love peace. No matter how much stronger it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation,” the Chinese President said.