‘Defeat All Enemies’: Rising China Rolls Out Newest Weaponry In Massive Military Parade
Beijing showed off its newest military hardware in a massive military parade Sunday.
China celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with a show of military might at Zhurihe military base in Inner Mongolia, Asia’s largest training base. China displayed more than 600 weapon systems, half of which were presented to the public for the first time.
China rolled out its new DF-31AG intercontinental ballistic missiles, variations of an earlier model with an estimated range of 11,000 kilometers, which would put most of the U.S. within striking distance. The weapon is believed to have overcome some of the shortcomings of its predecessors, specifically range limits, a lack of mobility, and the inability to carry multiple warheads, reports The Straits Times. The off-road launch capability increases the weapons survivability, according to the South China Morning Post.
The PLA also showed off its high-precision DF-16G missiles, “carrier killer” DF-21D missiles, and powerful DF-26 missiles, as well as its HQ-22 and HQ-9B surface-to-air missile systems.
China’s new ICBMs may be better suited to penetrate U.S. missile defense systems, and the other missiles aid its anti-access, area-denial strategy.
Outside of the rockets, China also presented the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter, which the Chinese assert is a potential rival to the American F-22 and F-35 fighter jets. “It’s evidence that it’s operational — it’s a statement,” Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University, told CNN. “It will give China’s air force an advantage over neighboring countries’ air power.”
The J-20, which some suspect is based on stolen U.S. technology, entered military service in March after several years in development. China also unveiled the Shenyang J-16 strike fighter, a dual-engine multi-role fighter armed with air-to-air and air-to-ship missiles. Serving in a naval capacity, the aircraft is believed to be able to strike ships from beyond visual range.
China also presented its Xian Y-20 cargo plane, China’s first and largest indigenous military transport aircraft, and its ASN-301 drone system, which is designed to hunt down and destroy enemy radar stations at great distances.
For its ground forces, China displayed its third-generation main battle tank, the ZTZ-99A battle tank, which ranks among the best in the world. The tank features enhanced motion control, ballistic armor, firepower, and electronic warfare systems.
Chinese President Xi Jinping personally oversaw the parade and delivered a strongly-worded speech at the event.
“Our heroic armed forces have the confidence and capability to defeat all invading enemies and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests,” he explained. “Today, we are closer than ever to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and more than any time in history, we need to build strong armed forces of the people.”
The impressive display of military power helps to solidify Xi’s position as a great leader before a major political gathering later this year.
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