Amidst heavy security which allowed entry to Beijing's Tiananmen Square only to invitees, China's leaders held a massive parade -- China's largest ever till now -- on October 1, to showcase China's military might. Present on the dias at Tiananmen Square was Chinese President Xi Jinping dressed in a grey Mao suit, flanked by former Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Also present were Wen Jiabao and Zeng Qinghong! The parade included 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 planes, 580 tanks and modern weapons systems from 59 military units. Included is the phalanx of strategic nuclear missile systems with the DF-41 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, D-17 conventional missile with its sleek hypersonic glide vehicle, the well-known DF-5B ICBM with its multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), the DF-31AG mobile ICBM,  the Dongfeng-100 intermediate range missile, a hypersonic weapon, the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile, and the DF-26 nuclear/conventional intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of striking land and sea targets. The HQ surface-to-air missile series was well-represented, with -6A, -9B, -12A, -16, and -22 variants. Other cruise missiles included the YJ-12B and YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship weapons.
Aircraft soaring overhead included the  Y-20, -9, and -8 transports; the KJ-2000 airborne warning and control (AWACs) system; the J-20 low-observable fighter; Jst-15 carrier-based multirole fighters representing the “peaks” (高峰) from the aircraft carrier Liaoning; the J-16 and J-10B fighters; the H-6N bomber and H-6U tanker variants; and a swarm of Z-8B, -9, -10, -15, -19, and -20 helicopters. Multiple unmanned aerial vehicles paraded below included the GJ-11 low-observable attack drone and the W-8 hypersonic reconnaissance drone. Meanwhile, far removed from their likely natural element in the South China Sea were a pair of HSU001 truck-borne underwater drones.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi,  writing in the Communist party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, last week claimed that China’s global standing had achieved a "historic high", boosted by its diplomatic activism. As quoted in the South China Morning Post prior to the U.N. General Assembly, Wang Yi said China 'would seek a lead role in reshaping the international order (the product of U.S. leadership). It would expand and defend its national interests, he said, and it would resist foreign interference in its affairs'. Yang Jiechi, China’s highest-ranking diplomat and a Politburo member, spelt out China's determination to secure its territorial claims while pursuing its global ambition. He said “Our determination and resolve, are as firm as iron when it comes to defending our national interests and dignity on issues about Taiwan, maritime affairs, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong as well as trade rifts. No one should expect China to swallow the bitter fruit that would damage our own interests.”

Separately writing in the official Global Times on October 1, Zhang Shuhua, Director of the Institute of Information Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, asserted that since its founding in 1949, the PRC "has made brilliant achievements and drawn global attention. Within seven decades, China has completed the industrialization process which developed countries took hundreds of years to achieve and grown to become the second-largest economy from wallowing in poverty and bleakness". He said China has played "a pivotal role in safeguarding global peace and multipolarization" and in spite of twists and turns China’s development is of great significance to the world. "In 1952, China’s GDP stood at 67.9 billion yuan ($9.55 billion); while the figure exceeded 90 trillion yuan ($12.66 trillion) in 2018, an increase of 1,325 times. China has been contributing more than 30 percent of the global economic growth for many years, outperforming any other economy. China has served as the global growth engine and stabilizer, which is a blessing for both Chinese people and human history." Extolling China's path of development which, the author said emphasised "common values" in contrast to "the universal values" propagated as a "Western democratic concept" being promoted by the West had enabled China to achieve this. He said "China believes those engaged in street politics and color revolution in the garb of democracy pose a challenge to Western democracy."

(Comment: Both Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, but particularly Hu Jintao, looked very frail and aged which is why probable they did not attend the banquet.)

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