04 September 2015
Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to follow the path of peaceful development yesterday as his country commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia, but the chatter that followed was all about the military prowess on display.
The parade appeared to send messages to both external and internal audiences, and to be aimed at consolidating Mr Xi’s power and the Communist Party’s rule as well as China’s standing in the world.
Concerns that Mr Xi would use the event to humiliate Japan were forgotten as an assortment of tanks and missiles rolled along Changan Avenue, or the Avenue of Eternal Peace, in a display likely to unnerve its neighbours and countries farther afield, analysts say.
… But China had reduced its troops three times before: in 1987, 1997 and 2003. And each cut was meant to streamline the PLA and make it a more efficient force, especially as it became more technologically savvy and the cost of running it became higher, said Dr Michael Raska, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “It’s not an olive branch,” he told The Straits Times.
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Last updated on 16/11/2015