Beijing's V-Day parade sends message of peace
Updated: 2015-09-03 15:09
National Flag Guard raise the national flag during the military parade at the Tian’anmen Square on Sept 3, 2015. [Photo/IC]
BEIJING -- Nearly 5,000 troops from 18 countries marched past Tian'anmen Square; over 500 tanks and armor vehicles mounted with drones and missiles rumbled by. They were saluted by nearly 200 military aircraft roaring overhead.
China put on a massive military parade Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and what it calls the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
It was a picture-perfect parade to show the world how far the country has come after a bitter victory seven decades ago, and also how far it could go for its hard-won peace and order.
Chinese President Xi Jinping observed the parade for the first time as the country's top leader.
Seventy-gun salutes at 10 a.m. set the official celebrations in motion.
Guards of honor marched on a red carpet that stretched between two Great Wall-shaped parterres in Tian'anmen Square with signs that read 1945 and 2015, to raise the national flag.
The sun shone in a stunning blue sky. Red flags on the symbolic Gate of Heavenly Peace fluttered in light breeze.
On the Tian'anmen Rostrum where late Chinese leader Mao Zedong pronounced the birth of New China 66 years ago, Xi, dressed in a sharply cut, high-collared Mao suit, highlighted China's aspiration of peace.
"China will remain committed to peaceful development. We Chinese love peace. No matter how much stronger it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation," said Xi.
He was joined by dozens of heads of state and government as well as international organizations including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye.