China displays its most advanced weapons in National Day parade

11:33, October 01, 2009      

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China on Thursday displayed some of its most sophisticated weaponry in a grand military review to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

Fifty-two types of new weapon systems developed and made in China, including the country's most advanced nuclear-capable missiles, were displayed. Ninety percent of the weapons were exposed to paraded for the first time.

A total of 56 phalanxes, consisting of 8,000 servicemen and women, nearly 500 tanks, missiles and other military vehicles and 151 warplanes, joined the parade in front of the Tian'anmen Square in the heart of Beijing.

Chinese President Hu Jintao reviewed the assembled marchers, standing in an open-roof black Red Flag limousine. Hundreds of millions of Chinese watched the televised parade on TV or Internet.

EQUIPMENT IN SPOTLIGHT

The most eye-catching weapons paraded were five types of missiles of the Second Artillery Force (SAF), China's core force of strategic deterrence, including China's most sophisticated nuclear-capable intercontinental missiles.

The gigantic weapons in camouflaged colors rolled on long-bed trucks, triggering exciting cheers and applause from spectators at the Tian'anmen Square.

SAF's land-based cruise missile also made its debut at the once-in-a-decade military parade. The conventional cruise missile is able to perform long-range low-altitude precision strikes.

Also on rare public display were SAF's three types of conventional missiles.

China started to develop strategic missile weapons in 1956. Over the past decades, the SAF has grown into "a lean and effective strategic force with both nuclear and conventional missiles, capable of both land-based strategic nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles," a White Paper on National Defense released January said.

Despite the improvement of its nuclear-capable weapons, China has repeatedly assured the world that it pursues "a self-defensive nuclear strategy."

"We have adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at anytime and under any circumstance, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones," President Hu said last week in a speech at the U.N. Security Council nuclear summit in New York.

The parade also displayed advanced weapons of the Navy, including anti-ship missiles, ship-to-air missiles, ground-to-ship missiles and amphibious vehicles.

At the military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China's Navy last April, China already displayed its nuclear submarine. Other cutting-edge weaponry on display included China's new generation of tanks, sophisticated radar, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite communication devices.

Follo