On July 30, 2017, China held a large-scale military parade at Zhurihe, Inner Mongolia for the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Around 12,000 soldiers participated in the parade. They demonstrated over 600 sets of military equipment (including tanks and missiles) and flew over 100 airplanes.
The following are comments from some overseas Chinese media:
The Communist Party showcased its military power. Part of it was to send a warning to India and to the U.S., but mainly, it was to secure Xi Jinping’s leadership position. In (the CCP’s) culture, power is secured by the gun. Whoever controls the military and the police becomes the top leader. This was Xi demonstrating his power; the goal was to warn his political opponents: He has a stable power base and he is the big boss. He can make the calls for official’s appointments at Communist Party’s 19th Party National Congress.
From China Central Television’s (CCTV)’s video of the Zhurihe military base, people could see a simulation of the building of the President’s Palace of Taiwan in the background. China purposely didn’t hide it, so as to send a warning message to Taiwan.
Xi gave four requirements to the parade troops. First, “Adhere to the fundamental principle and system that the (Communist) Party has absolute control over the military. (The Military should) always listen to the Party and follow the Party.” Second, “Adhere to the goal of serving the people and always stand alongside the people.” Third, “Adhere to the fundamental standard of combat capability and focus on preparing for wars.” Fourth, “Adhere to building the army via political management, reform, technology, and the rule of law.”
“Adhering to the Communist Party’s absolute control over the military” is the political core intent of this military parade.
Five issues can be observed from the military parade:
1. This was the first time that the Communist Party held a military parade on the PLA’s anniversary.
2. This was the first time to focus on real combat. Soldiers wore camouflage instead of formal uniforms. They ran to their positions instead of walking in parade steps. Xi Jinping also wore camouflage.
3. Fan Changlong, the Vice Chairman of the CMC, called Xi Jinping the “Superior Leader” (领袖) and “Commander-in-Chief” (统帅). It showed that Xi has secure his position and in his power over the military.
4. This was a show of power in front of the upcoming Party’s 19th National Congress, during the in-fight between Xi Jinping and former leader Jiang Zemin and his faction.
5. It also served as warning to certain countries around China.
1. BBC, July 31, 2017
2. VOA, July 31, 2017
3. Duowei, July 29, 2017
4. Epoch Times, July 30, 2017