China celebrated Thursday, the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender by an imposing military parade in the heart of Beijing placed under high security, a demonstration of force rejected, however, by most western leaders.
The head of State, Xi Jinping, was to preside over the ceremony since the Tiananmen square on which some 12,000 soldiers and 500 machines were on parade, flown by nearly 200 aircraft and helicopters, a symbol of the rising power of China on the international stage.
The main leaders of the western democracies, including the us president Barack Obama, German chancellor Angela Merkel, have declined the invitation, as the japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe, the initiator of a review of the policy pacifist Japan, which is very irritating to Beijing.
President Xi Jinping is the commander-in-chief of the army in his capacity as chairman of the central military Commission of the chinese communist Party (CCP), the ruling body of the people’s liberation Army (PLA).
Under his leadership, China will move away from the policy of so-called “low profile” advocated by Deng Xiaoping, the successor of Mao Tse-tung, and seeks to assert itself in strengthening and modernising its armed forces, at the cost of friction with its neighbours in the east China sea and southern.
China Expert at the University of south korea Yonsei in Seoul, John Delury told the AFP that the limited participation of foreign leaders to the celebrations of the chinese was due to the fact that they constituted “an event very militaristic and nationalist”.
“Across Asia, and certainly in the United States, there are all kinds of concerns on the aspect of “hard power,” the rise of China,” he said.
The chinese army has assured that 84% of the equipment which will be shown during the parade will make their appearance in public for the first time.
According to the official press, of the equipment of the naval air force, bombers, long-range action and various types of missiles will be presented, including the ballistic missile DF-21D, said “killer of aircraft carriers”, a contraption that raises in recent years a number of speculations in the military community on its abilities to change the balance of forces in the Pacific ocean, preserve traditional of the 7th american fleet.
But a spokesman for the chinese diplomatic, Ms Hua Chunying, said that the comments on the aggressive character of this parade was a “mentality not very bright”.
“The chinese troops are troops for peace,” she said on Wednesday at a press briefing scheduled, ensuring that “the more they will be strong, the more they will be able to ensure the peace of the world.”
Nearly a thousand foreign troops, including a detachment of Russian, will take part in the parade, which president Vladimir Putin will attend, the main figure among the foreign leaders.
President Xi Jinping had attended in Moscow last may to a parade similar, also shunned by western leaders because of the Ukrainian crisis.
The president of south korea, Ms. Park Geun-Hye, whose country had been colonized by Japan, as well as the south african president Jacob Zuma and the secretary general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, are also among the guests.
Only government representative of the great western diplomacies, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, also attended the ceremony.
The people’s republic of China organizes traditionally a military parade every 10 years, but on the occasion of the anniversary of its founding on October 1, 1949.
The Japanese, who had invaded China in 1937, had surrendered formally 70 years ago by a ceremony in Tokyo bay on the american battleship USS Missouri.