Vastavam web: China celebrated its growing power and confidence with a massive display of military hardware and goose-stepping troops in Beijing on Tuesday, overseen by President Xi Jinping who pledged peaceful development on the 70th birthday of Communist China. The event is the country’s most important of the year as China looks to project its assurance in the face of mounting challenges, including nearly four months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong and a economy-sapping trade war with the United States.
Xi, dressed in a slate grey “Mao” suit and accompanied by his predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, said China will pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. The country’s military should resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace, Xi told a handpicked crowd at Tiananmen Square, in comments carried live on state television.
China must maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, promote the peaceful development of relations with self-ruled Taiwan and “continue to strive for the motherland’s complete reunification”, he added. Xi, whose military modernisation programme has rattled nerves around the region, then descended to the street and inspected row upon row of military hardware and immaculately presented troops.
Returning to the stage, Xi reviewed groups of service men and women marching past and lines of tanks, drones and missiles.