On Parade

By Thomas Duffy / September 25, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Next Thursday nearly 5,000 Chinese military personnel, along with tanks, missile-carrying vehicles and over 150 aircraft, will be on display in Beijing as part of the Chinese government's National Day parade. This type of military display takes place once every decade, according to a press release issued by the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

According to a statement issued Sept. 17, the Chinese military will showcase 52 types of new weapon systems, including airborne early warning and control aircraft, sophisticated radar, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite communication devices used by the People's Liberation Army.

Lt. Gen. Fang Fenghui, the commander of the PLA's Beijing Military Area Command and the general director of the parade, is quoted as saying:

They ((the weapon systems)) embody the ongoing transformation of the PLA from a labor-intensive force to a technology-intensive ((one that)) might be capable of joint operations in modern warfare.

Members of China's navy, air force and ballistic missile corps also will take part in the parade. Compared with the military's participation in the pared 10 years ago, this year's demonstration will have fewer troops and equipment but will will showcase increased high-tech weaponry and special forces units, according to the statement.

Of the military equipment that will be display, no specific models were identified, but Fang is quoted as saying that all will be stamped “Made in China.”