By Zhang Junshe
With a total of 59 formations including 15,000 military personnel, 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of equipment, the massive military parade on China's National Day is of the largest scale in recent years. What signal did the impressive march send?
To begin with, the event highlighted the People's Liberation Army's firm political faith. The parade began with an air flag guard formation of 20 helicopters flying in the shape of number 70. This implies the historic achievements the PLA has gained in the past 70 years under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The military review and the PLA's solemn salute to Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, demonstrate the PLA's adherence to the CPC's absolute control and determination to submit itself to Xi's command.
Secondly, the parade showcases the adjustment in the PLA's structure and the latest advances in China's military construction. Apart from the traditional formations of the PLA Army, Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force, newly added components like civil service, peacekeepers, logistics forces were among the marching phalanxes.
The warfare equipment unit, which consisted of seven modules and 31 formations, demonstrates the PLA's strides in land-based, information-based, and unmanned combats. The military band that is made up of more than 1,300 personnel is another highlight of the parade, showcasing the new characteristics of the PLA's command system.
It is worth noting that all military equipment on display is domestic and in active service with a high level of IT application. The debut of DF-41 nuclear-capable international ballistic missile, CJ-100 supersonic cruise missile and other newly introduced weapons are typical examples of China's stunning innovative strides in the national defense industry and military construction in the past 70 years.
China's military equipment in the new era is closely connected with IT, topographical surveying, meteorology and hydrology. The PLA's joint combat system and the comprehensive application of the technological know-how in different fields are new characteristics of China's military modernization.
Thirdly, the parade demonstrates the PLA's determination in safeguarding state sovereignty, security, and development interests. This is the ultimate purpose of the PLA. The parade has fully displayed the army's comprehensive capability of fulfilling this mission and safeguarding world peace and stability.
Peacekeepers were on display as well during the National Day parade. As the largest contributor to international peacekeeping forces and the second-largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget, China is earnestly fulfilling its commitments to maintaining world peace.
The Chinese military has dispatched more than 40,000 personnel to 24 UN peacekeeping operations since 1990, with 13 Chinese peacekeepers sacrificing their lives on the front line of operations, according to Xinhua News Agency. At present, more than 2,500 Chinese peacekeepers are on duty in the UN and have been praised as "key factor" in peacekeeping operations.
The parade is, by no means, flexing China's military muscle. China is proving its adherence to peaceful rise and its determination to safeguard world peace and stability with concrete actions. Time is needed for the world to dispel all misunderstandings against China.
Editor's Note: Zhang Junshe is a senior captain at China's Naval Research Institute. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.