BEIJING (AFP) – China will this year hold its first large-scale military parade since 2009 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, reports said Tuesday, with one key goal described as being to “frighten Japan”.
Communist China generally shies away from the vast annual demonstrations of military might that were a hallmark of the Soviet Union.
But it most recently held National Day parades in 1999 and 2009 to mark the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the October 1 establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
Even now the part played by the People’s Liberation Army in China’s earlier resistance against Japanese invasion remains a key element of the Communist Party’s claim to a right to rule.
On its instant messaging WeChat account the People’s Daily newspaper, the Party’s official mouthpiece, cited a Hong Kong report that a parade would be held this year to commemorate the anniversary of the war’s end.
One reason for mounting the parade was “to frighten Japan and declare to the world China’s determination to maintain the post-war world order”, said the article, written by Chinese financial and global affairs commentator Hu Zhanhao.
“Only by showing its military capabilities can (China) show Japan its attitude and determination and let it know that whoever dares to challenge the post-war order related to China and touch China’s core interests is its enemy and must be psychologically prepared for China’s strong counterattack,” it said.
Other reasons included showcasing China’s military strength and increasing Chinese pride.
The report did not give a date for the event but said it would mark the first time it was not held on National Day.
Several Chinese media outlets on Tuesday described the posting of the article by the People’s Daily as a confirmation.