Amid Doklam crisis, Xi inspects novel military parade

Amid the standoff with India in the remote Doklam plateau, and rising tensions in North Korea, China has held a novel military parade, which was low on ceremonials, but high on demonstrating the country’s military modernisation on the watch of President Xi Jinping.

Dressed in combat fatigues and riding a jeep instead of a ceremonial car, President Xi, inspected a unique event, where soldiers demonstrated their combat skills, in vast open spaces, used for training, in windswept Inner Mongolia. Simultaneously, China showcased its new weapons, of which, nearly half were on public display for the first time. J-20 stealth fighters, widely seen as China’s answer to the F-35 and F-22 fifth generation fighters of the United States, flown in formation for the first time, were the stars of the parade.

Besides, there were other planes, which were especially suited for long range flights from artificial islands that China has developed in the South China Sea. China’s strategic nuclear missiles were once again among the highlights of the parade. All the weapons on display were of Chinese-origin.

Twin message

Addressing troops, Mr. Xi conveyed a twin message— 24×7 combat readiness against any enemy, and political cohesion through unswerving loyalty of the armed forces to the Communist Party of China (CPC).

China has “the confidence and capability to defeat all armies that dare to offend”, he said, adding that the military should be “unswervingly loyal” to the ruling Communist Party and “extend the battleground to wherever the party points towards.”

Though the parade marking the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was not directed against any specific country, it did come about during a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary. Besides, tensions in the Korean peninsula are escalating, apart from the friction between Beijing and Washington in the South China Sea.

Sunday’s military parade,…

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