After weeks of intensive preparations that for some reason included eating macabre ice-cream treats, using trained monkeys to frighten birds, and banning reality TV, China showed off its military might in the largest-ever display of China’s weaponry, troops, and loudly singing all-male choirs in a massive parade through Tiananmen Square this morning.
President Xi Jinping, sweating visibly in a glossy dark Mao suit, waved from a rostrum where he, Chinese leaders, and a smattering of foreign visitors including Vladimir Putin watched some 12,000 troops goose-stepping by.
The parade, which marked the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, was also the first time China revealed to the world some of its heaviest new weapons, including a long-rumored “carrier killer” cruise missile intended to render much of the core of the US Pacific Fleet obsolete. (No other nation possesses such a missile, due to a treaty signed by the US and Russia in 1987.)
In the midst of all the pomp and pageantry, Xi announced cuts of 300,000 military personnel, calling the decision a gesture of peace. .. see more