Just hours after bomber jets from the U.S., South Korea and Japan swarmed the skies over the Korean Peninsula in a “show of strength” message to North Korea, China’s President Xi Jinping demonstrated his own show of strength with an elaborate military parade at it’s largest military training center that features life-size mockup targets, including Taiwan’s presidential palace.
The parade was to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army and was overseen by President Xi Jinping who called on the Chinese military to transform itself into an elite fighting force to bolster the country’s rise into a world power.
He said the Chinese military had the capabilities to ‘preserve national sovereignty, security and interests’ and demanded the troops’ show ‘absolute loyalty’ to the party. “Always listen to and follow the party’s orders,” Xi told his assembled troops. “And march to wherever the party points to.”
More than 100 planes flew overhead and almost 600 types of weaponry were on display for the occasion — nearly half of which were making their debut in public, according to the Defense Ministry.
Attracting the most attention Sunday was the J-20, China’s newest-generation stealth fighter that could potentially rival the F-22 or F-35 in the US military.
“It’s evidence that it’s operational — it’s a statement,” Zhang said. “It will give China’s air force an advantage over neighboring countries’ air power.”
Perhaps coincidentally, the last weapons rolled out at Sunday’s parade were China’s own nuclear warhead-capable ICBMs, which state TV announcers proudly called “symbols of a major power.”
Zhang said China showed off the DF-31AG mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, an upgrade to the DF-31A that was introduced in 2009.
“The AG version has better off-road ability and is believed to carry multiple warheads,” he said. “The DF-31A is fitted with one warhead. Deploying multiple warheads on China’s strategic missiles gives them better abilities to penetrate US missile defense.”
The PLA has undergone an extensive modernization program investing heavily in aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and stealth fighters with the strategic aim of competing with the US for regional dominance.
It comes a day after North Korea tested a ballistic missile that it claims can reach all of the United States, US President Donald Trump criticized China for not reining in Kim Jong Un and his missile program.
‘I am very disappointed in China,’ Trump wrote in a pair of Twitter posts. ‘…they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!’
North Korea’s test Friday of an intercontinental ballistic missile was its second of the long-range weapon in a month. The first on July 4 showed the missile had the range to reach Alaska.Read More