Thursday, September 10, 2015

China Victory Day 70


Massive Military Parade
in Beijing:

Chinese President announces 
cuts in military numbers: 

World leaders attend: 

China has marked the 70th Anniversary of Victory over Japanese aggression and China’s key role in the world struggle against fascism until 1945.

In his opening remarks at the parade, held in Beijing on Sept 3 to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), President Xi Jinping announced that China would reduce the its military personnel by 300,000 troops, which, along with the parade, made headlines worldwide. Thanks to the displays in the parade, viewers are convinced of China's ability to protect its people. And the troop reduction has assured them of China's firm determination to defend peace and counter any challenge to it.

The troop cut gives the lie to the "China threat" theory, because it reduces the already low population to military ratio of China or, the number of military personnel to every 100,000 Chinese citizens. China's current population is 1.37 billion and its military is 2.3 million strong, which means for every 100,000 Chinese citizens, there are 168 military personnel. In comparison, the United States has a population of 315 million and a military of 1.4 million personnel. That means 445 out of every 100,000 American citizens are military personnel. And neighbouring Japan, with a population of 126 million, has 247,000 personnel in its "Self-Defense Forces", for a ratio of 200 SDF personnel for every 100,000 people. Both are higher than China's. After the troop cut, only 146 out of every 100,000 people in China will serve in the military. That is solid evidence of China's defense policy being purely defensive in nature and the country is not pursuing military superiority.

The reduction is a consistent move for China, which has been an active force in arms control and disarmament in the global arena. The cuts, which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, will be China's 11th military reduction since the founding of the People's Republic on October 1, 1949, and the fourth one since the 1980s. In 1985, China downsized its army by more than 1 million, the largest cuts ever. After the recent move, China's troop levels will stand at 2 million, compared with 6.27 million in October 1949. Very few countries have made so many reductions on such large scales.

The scheduled cuts have proven arguments that China meant to showcase its military muscle with the massive parade groundless. Such voices are out of ill intent because they underline a so-called "China Threat" theory which is being hyped up by some western media outlets. An official budget report revealed in March that China's military expenditure in 2014 accounted for less than 1.5 percent of GDP, well below the world's average of 2.6 percent. The reductions also show the Chinese government is not chanting empty slogans while saying Thursday's commemoration activities are aimed partly at cherishing peace and opening up the future.

Even after the reduction, China's military forces will still be the world's largest, but the size, which is kept for defensive purposes, meets the practical needs of the nation, which has a population of 1.3 billion. Aside from safeguarding national unity and territorial integrity, China declares it needs a military to undertake non-military tasks such as disaster relief, peacekeeping and international rescue. Official statistics reveal that since a devastating earthquake in 2008, China's armed forces have deployed more than 2.5 million military staff in non-military missions.

On a global stage, about 30,000 Chinese soldiers have so far served in UN's peacekeeping missions, the most among all five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Additionally, China also needs its military to cope with the threat of terrorism, separatism and extremism.Therefore, keeping an appropriate level of armed forces is necessary for China. Compared to Japan, which has 250,000 troops for a population of less than 130 million, the 2 million troops remaining is not that large for China, whose population is ten times that of Japan. Although China will maintain a moderate budget for national defence, the money will be mostly used to meet various needs including expenditure on new armaments, information technology and salaries.

The much-anticipated parade was the nation's first one to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War and the first to be held other than on October 1, China’s National day.
Russian Federation President, Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch the Beijing Parade.

Heads of State and governments attending were:

Argentina Vice President Amado Boudou, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, Bosnia-Herzegovina Chairman of the Presidency Dragan Čović, Brazil Minister of Defence Jaques Wagner, Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni, Cuba First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman, Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila,

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Member of the Politburo Presidium Choe Ryong-hae, Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgzstan President Almazbek Atambayev, Laos President Choummaly Sayasone, Mongolia President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Myanmar President Thein Sein, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, Poland Marshal of the Sejm (speaker) Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska Papua New-Guinea Governor General Michael Ogio, South Korea President Park Geun-hye,

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, Serbia President Tomislav Nikolić, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir,Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, East Timor President Taur Matan Ruak, Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro, Vietnam President Trương Tấn Sang.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Intl. Red Cross &Red Crescent,President Peter Maurer also attended the parade.

Foreign military contingents attended from: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Watch the China TV Broadcast here:

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