Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that China will cut its number of troops by 300,000, as he kicked off a massive military parade marking 70 years since the end of World War II in Asia.
Xi made the announcement while addressing the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. Xi Jinping said all countries should build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.
Xi kicked off the proceedings with a speech at the iconic Tiananmen Gate in the heart of Beijing, flanked by Chinese leaders and foreign dignitaries, including Russian leader Vladimir Putin, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“The experience of war makes people value peace even more,” Xi said. “Regardless of the progress of events, China will never seek hegemony, China will never seek to expand and will never inflict the tragedies it suffered in the past upon others.”
Xi then drove past the assembled troops in a Chinese-made Red Flag limousine, standing up through a sun roof with four microphones mounted in front of him, calling out “Greetings, Comrades” every few moments.
The military parade through Beijing commemorates Japan’s World War II defeat while underlining President Xi Jinping’s determination to make his country Asia’s pre-eminent power.
“All countries should jointly uphold the international order and system underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” Xi said at the commemoration of the ceremony.
“[All countries] should build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and advance the noble cause of global peace and development,” Xi said.
The parade features more than 12,000 troops, 500 pieces of military hardware and 200 aircraft of various types, representing what military officials say is the Chinese military’s most cutting-edge technology.
Story complied with information from Xinhua, Reuters and The Associated Press.