China will put on a massive parade of its most advanced weapons next week in a display of its indigenous military capabilities to commemorate its National Day, the Defence Ministry has said.
The People’s Republic of China is celebrating 70 years of its founding on October 1 and the parade, the largest ever to be staged, will take place in the heart of Beijing, The Strait Times reported.
The Defence Ministry, in a press briefing on Tuesday, divulged more details about the show of military technology, pointing out that the weapons on display would be “made in China” and already in service.
“They will include some new types of weapons in use in the Chinese military… They will reflect China’s ability to independently research and develop weapon systems,” said Major-General Tan Min, executive deputy director of the military parade joint command office.
About 15,000 military personnel, 160 aircraft and 580 different pieces of military hardware would be showcased in the 80-minute long parade, the Defence Ministry said.
For the past three weekends, during full dress rehearsals, tanks and other military hardware were seen rolling down Chang’an Avenue, the main boulevard that passes through the centre of the capital.
Military observers are watching closely the hardware that China will trot out on October 1 for signs of how the country’s military is developing.
China has embarked on reforming its armed forces in recent years in an effort to turn the People’s Liberation Army into a modern fighting force – a strong military is a key part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese dream”.
Ahead of the few days before the grand celebrations, the environment ministry further warned in a statement published on late Monday that adverse weather conditions are expected to lead to heavy smog building up around Beijing over the next two weeks.
It urged local governments to pay close attention to smog and take action to reduce emissions.