08/22/2015, 00.00
CHINA
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To mask economic problems, Beijing showcases military might

In September, plans for a grand military parade for the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan in World War II. Government intends to put its latest generation armaments on dislay. A show of force, in the context of increasing international tensions

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Next month, at the grand military parade for the 70th anniversary of the victory over Japan in World War II, China will unveil hundreds of new weapons available to its army, navy and air force.

The Beijing authorities are promoting the event, with its chief propagandists today busy escorting foreign journalists on a tour of a military base on the outskirts of the capital; 12 thousand soldiers and 500 new military weapons are being mobilized for the occasion.
Official sources in Beijing have not yet clarified which foreign Heads of State and Government and military representatives will attend. China reports that 10 nations from Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Oceania will send a contingent, but has so far has only confirmed the participation of Russia and Kazakhstan.

The parade of September 3 in Tiananmen Square - the last was held in 2009, for the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic - will involve 27 armed units of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), along with 10 formations of helicopters and aircraft. Official sources say that 84% of the weapons have never been shown in public before.

Analysts and experts report that the military parade - that the intent celebrates the sacrifice of past generations and the commitment to peace - is an opportunity to show the growing capacity of the army, at a time of growing international tensions.

Among others come to the fore, the crisis in East China seas (with Japan) and South (with the Philippines and Vietnam). Both, consequently, involve the United States which has considerable business, commercial and military interests in the Asia-Pacific.

The test of China's military strength comes at a difficult time economically for Beijing, the Chinese stock market which marked up heavy losses in recent weeks which have dragged down all the economies of the continent. Experts  warn that this turn of events masks a structural shift of the domestic economy.

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