China’s Victory Day Military Parade

By Qiyong Sally Zhang

China’s massive Victory Day military parade took place Sept. 3 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the nation’s victory in World War II. International media outlets expressed their different attitudes toward the parade.

The military parade got great attention. The Mainland Chinese public believes that the parade is not only telling the Chinese people to remember the history and the hard times of World War II, but also advocating the ideal of world peace. Many world leaders attended the parade, including South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, and the Taiwan former Vice President Lien Chan.

The parade that is considered educational and meaningful in Mainland China is controversial around the world, however. Some western media criticized China’s military parade as extravagant and exaggerated. These media outlets don’t think China should use world history to flaunt its military strength. Japan also complained about Ban Ki-moon saying that as the Secretary General of the United Nations, he should be neutral instead of encouraging China’s assertive stance.

China's Victory Day parade

China’s Victory Day parade

Former vice president Annette Lu of the Democratic Progressive Party also said that Taiwan Vice President Lien’s attendance at China’s Victory Day military parade was inappropriate. It’s like “a murderer displaying his weapons and you [Lien] clapping for him,” Lu said. Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou also claimed that “it is not appropriate.” Ying-Jeou. points out that the victory in the eight-year anti-Japanese war was led by Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, instead of Mainland China’s Communist Party. He doesn’t think it is appropriate for Mainland China to take credit. Also, Taiwan officials fear that Mainland China still intends to use military force against the island nation.

Based on their different historical positions and backgrounds, many nations close to China hold different attitudes toward China’s Victory Day military parade. The Chinese people did show, however, their military ability and their faith in world peace in the Victory Day military parade.

Photo credits to Eugene Kaspersky, Flicker.

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