Xi attends military parade marking 90th anniversary of PLA

Source:Xinhua - Global Times Published: 2017/7/30 11:48:11

China on Sunday kicked off a military parade to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Zhurihe military training base in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.  

It is a first for Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission, to observe such a large-scale parade staged in the field.   

The parade marks the first time that China commemorated Army Day with a military parade since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. 

President Xi on Sunday said the CPC and the Chinese people all take pride in the PLA, ordering the country’s military to further improve its combativeness and modernize the national defense and armed forces.  

History has proven that the PLA is a heroic force that has followed the Party’s command, served the country with loyalty, and fought for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Xi said. 

Xi also said the PLA has the confidence and capability in defeating all invading enemies and protecting China’s national sovereignty, security and interests.
Clad in camouflage, Xi stood in an open-roof jeep that drove slowly past formations of troops as military music played through loudspeakers. After that, PLA troops marched past the reviewing stand. 

The troops are composed of a formation of flag guards, a helicopter echelon of celebration marks, and nine combat groups including land operations, information operations, special operations, air and missile defense, naval operations, air operations, comprehensive support, counter-terrorism, stability maintenance and strategic strikes.

This military parade did not feature military bands or chorus, but instead played recorded music. Soldiers wore battle fatigues instead of dress uniforms. 

The PLA has come a long way since its birth in the Nanchang Uprising on August 1, 1927. Today, the PLA commands about two million service personnel, one of the world’s largest military forces. 

Covering more than 1,000 square kilometers, Zhurihe is the largest military training base in Asia. It is also the site that has witnessed several major PLA exercises and international war games. 

Its geography, which includes deserts, grasslands, mountains and ravines, makes the site the perfect place for joint military exercises. 

In the past, Zhurihe was not reported in State media, and was only referred to as “some military training base in North China.” It could only be viewed in satellite images. As the base had increasing contact with other armies through training exercises, it was finally declassified to the public in 2003, according to China Central Television.

Stationed in Zhurihe is China’s first professional simulation opposition force, or the "Blue Army." As of September 2015, the team won 31 of 33 real confrontation drills. 

Xinhua - Global Times 

Posted in: MILITARY

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