Chinese military to be reduced by 300,000 troops
The Chinese military parade marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in WWII held today, was overseen by President Xi Jinping, who described the conflict as "a decisive battle between justice and evil, between light and darkness". Xi said that the 2.3 million strong Chinese-army would be reduced by 300,000 troops. While leaders of major Western countries were absent, Russian President Putin was present.
Beijing will be hosting an elaborate military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2. This parade will be the highlight of these celebrations. Foreign troops had started arriving in Beijing in order to practice for the parade that will be a huge military show of strength. China will be celebrating this occasion for the first time.
The parade will indeed be an international event. Kazakhstan will be sending a 100-member honour guard; Russia will be sending 85 troops. Mongolia is supposed to send 75 soldiers; troops from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan arrived in Beijing on 16 August. India, which was asked by China to send 75 troops to take part in the parade, refused out of consideration for Japan.
China will be showing off their vast weaponry at the parade that is set to have major international attendance. 27 types of Chinese-made battle equipment, which are used for ground and maritime attacks, air and missile defence and strategic strikes will be exhibited. In essence, China will be showcasing to the world its newly developed, improved weaponry and its increased military strength.
Preparations are in full swing for the parade. September 3 has been declared a national holiday. In China, the conflict whose end is being celebrated is called the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. For safety reasons, the Forbidden City, a main tourist attraction will remain closed; factories have been shut down to ensure a cleaner environment.
China finally issued a list of the leaders who will be attending the military parade and the names of some world leaders were prominently missing. North Korea's Kim Jong-un will not be attending; instead, a politburo member from Pyongyang will be at the parade. USA, Germany and Canada will be represented by their ambassadors in Beijing. Japan will not be there.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued an apology in 1995 to China for having invaded it during WW2. However, China has not completely accepted the apology and continues to accuse Tokyo for not showing enough regret.
Czech President Milos Zeman will be in attendance as the only head of state from EU. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be present, but in a personal capacity only. South Korea's Park Geun-Hye and South Africa's Jacob Zuma are among the most prominent who are scheduled to attend the parade. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also be there.
An ice cream chain based in Shanghai are selling ice cream bars which look like Hideki Tojo (complete with glasses and moustache), former Japanese army general and PM, who was executed for war crimes. The campaign slogan reads, "10,000 people together eat the Japanese war criminal."