China denies need to 'flex muscles' during Oct 1 military parade

China denies need to 'flex muscles' during Oct 1 military parade

BEIJING: Beijing denied Tuesday (Sep 24) that a huge military parade planned for China's 70th anniversary was a sign of the country "flexing its muscles".

The country is ramping up preparations for a week's holiday from Oct 1, marking the day the Chinese Communist Party seized control and established the People's Republic of China.

President Xi Jinping will oversee a massive parade of the armed forces through central Beijing on Oct 1 to mark 70 years since the establishment of Communist China, with state media promising that new missiles, aircraft and drones will be shown.

At a press conference in Beijing, a defence ministry spokesman unveiled more details about the upcoming parade and said that the strength of the Chinese military was a chance to provide "more positive energy" for world peace.

READ: Central Beijing locked down for overnight army parade rehearsal

Tuesday's military procession through the centre of the capital will last 80 minutes and showcase the army's most advanced weaponry.

"If the Chinese army displays weapons and equipment, then it is 'flexing its muscles', but if it doesn't display them, then it is 'opaque'," said senior Colonel Wu Qian, defence spokesman.

"In the past 70 years, the development and growth of the Chinese military has been obvious to all. We have neither intentions nor the need to ;flex our muscles' through military parades."

China held large military parades to mark the end of World War II as well as to celebrate the 60th
China held large military parades to mark the end of World War II as well as to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China being founded (Photo: AFP/GREG BAKER)

China has been coy about exactly what new equipment it will put on display at the parade.

Attention in state media has focused on the Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missile that may be able to carry several nuclear warheads and reach the United States, supersonic drones and stealth fighters.

Tan Min, one of the senior officers overseeing parade preparations, told the same news conference that people would have to "wait and see" exactly what China would put on show.

Tan promised the equipment would all be made-in-China and show off the country's prowess at innovation.

Around 15,000 members of the armed forces will march in the display, which will showcase around 580 pieces of military hardware, all domestically made.

More than 160 aircraft will take to the skies, Wu said, with 188 military officials from 97 countries watching the parade.

There will also be an anniversary show on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Source: Agencies/nr

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