China prez oversees army parade in show off might

China needs to build strong armed forces more than ever to keep pace with its growing global clout, President Xi Jinping said Sunday at a military parade in Inner Mongolia to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the People's Liberation Army.

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) get ready for the military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the army at Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, July 30, 2017.

"Today, we are closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation than any other time in history and we need to build a strong people's military more than any other time in history", Xi told the assembled troops in a short speech that did not yield any policy announcements. It was the first time China held Army Day celebrations since the 1949 Communist revolution, Reuters reported.

Xi said that the world was not peaceful, but he did not mention any specific hot spots, such as territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Taiwan or tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

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Country's President Xi Jinping personally inspected the troops during the parade.

The training of 12,000 troops participating in the parade was arranged in accordance with the armed forces' annual training plan, Xinhua news agency quoted Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defence, as saying.

"Salute to you, comrades", Xi called out to the soldiers from the jeep.

At the parade, Xi said China needed a strong military more than ever.

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As part of the commemorations to mark the anniversary, the Chinese President also reviewed the armed forces in the field. About 40 per cent of the military equipment in the parade was publicly displayed for the first time, according to Phoenix TV, a pro-Beijing media outlet.

Xi said the Chinese army must "unswervingly stick to... the Party's absolute leadership". This month, an online news portal run by the PLA said the present force of 2.3 million will be whittled down to below 1 million.

The PLA was founded on August 1, 1927 when the ruling CPC under the leadership of carried on with his national liberation movement. Find us on Facebook too!

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