China showcases advanced ballistic missiles at military parade – Washington Post
Chinese soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s World War II defeat in Beijing Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool)China unveiled a host of new military equipment at the country’s military parade Thursday in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks portrayed China as an arbiter of peace. “Prejudice and discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and pain,” said Xi. “China will always uphold the path of peaceful development.” Xi also announced that he would cut 300,000 troops from the roughly 2.3 million-strong military at his disposal.
World leaders and citizens watch as China displays military might during a parade to mark 70 years of victory over Japan in World War II. (Reuters)
However, the presence of some of the country’s most advanced military equipment was not lost on international observers.
More than 12,000 soldiers marched in the parade, according to Reuters, with soldiers from Russia and other countries also participating. Tanks, jets, and armored vehicles also made their way through Tienanmen Square, but two of the most notable pieces of military hardware on display were both Dong-Feng “East-Wind” class ballistic missiles.
While these missiles undoubtedly pose a threat to U.S. interests in the Pacific, the United States has known about them for some time, giving the Pentagon an opportunity to develop ways of countering the weapons. Here’s a closer look at what was on display in Beijing.
Military vehicles carrying DF-21D ballistic missiles roll to Tiananmen Square during a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)
The first variant of the DF-21 became operational in 1991, according to the Web site missilethreat.com. Since then the Chinese have fielded four variants—the most recent being the DF-21D. The 21D is unique for a number of reasons, notably though because of its strike range—roughly 900 nautical miles—and the targets it is intended for: aircraft carriers. According to a report in the National Interest by naval historian Robert Farley, the DF-21D relies on a network of “systems” to accurately hit its intended target. Farley …Read More