31 July 2017
China rolled out tanks, jets and 12,000 soldiers in the Inner Mongolian desert yesterday, as it flexed its military muscles in a massive parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Regional security expert Li Mingjiang of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said the display was intended to show that the reforms Mr Xi had initiated when he took office in 2012 to modernise the PLA have borne some fruit, and that the reforms continued to have his personal attention.
And while Mr Xi’s speech largely focused on the PLA’s achievements, Professor Li said a reference to defeating invaders seems to be directed at India.
“This may be a veiled reference to India because of the ongoing stand- off between Chinese border troops and Indian border forces in Doklam,” said Prof Li.
“He was trying to send the signal to other countries with territorial or maritime disputes with China that China is determined to protect its security interests in the region.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 01/08/2017