China's J-20, J-16 Fighter Jets Make Parade Debut
(Source: Xinhua news agency; published July 30, 2017)
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews the armed forces as part of the commemorations to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) at Zhurihe military training base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Xinhua photo)
ZHURIHE, Inner Mongolia --- China's latest J-20 stealth fighters made their parade debut Sunday in north China, as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) staged a show of strength to mark its 90th founding anniversary.

Three J-20 jets led an echelon formation consisting of 15 fighter aircraft which roared over the Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region during the country's first-ever Army Day parade.

The J-20 is China's indigenous fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet. It made its maiden flight in 2011 and was first publicly displayed at the 11th Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, in November last year.

"The enlisting of fourth-generation jets will bring fundamental changes to the rules of the game in air battlefield," said Wang Mingzhi, a professor with the PLA Air Force Command College.

"It will also draw the curtain on transformation in the PLA Air Force," Wang said.

Besides J-20, J-16 fighters and Y-20 heavy transport aircraft were also among the new aircraft making parade debuts Sunday.

The J-16 is a two-seat, dual-engine multi-role fighter with beyond-visual-range air-to-air and air-to-ship strike capabilities.

The Y-20, a versatile plane with a maximum takeoff weight of about 200 tonnes, is designed to carry cargo and personnel over long distances in complicated meteorological conditions. It officially entered military service in July 2016.

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China's Army Day Parade Shows Resolution to Safeguard Peace
(Source: Xinhua; issued July 30, 2017)
BEIJING --- China's Army Day parade on Sunday showed a firm determination of the country to safeguard peace and a peaceful environment needed for development and prosperity, international experts and scholars have said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping watched the military parade marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), which falls on Aug. 1, at the Zhurihe training base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

During the parade, Xi delivered a keynote speech urging further improvement of the PLA's combat effectiveness and modernization of China's national defense.

Xi stressed in his speech the need for the PLA to promote fighting capabilities to win wars, said Shi Pengxun, principal research fellow at the Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney.

"The parade conveyed a clear message to the outside world that China is militarily prepared for any case with a resolution to safeguard peace," said Shi, who is also an adjunct senior research fellow at the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore.

Guo Shengxiang, dean of the Academy of APEC Creative Finance, an Australian think tank, believes that a military force conforming to economic strength for China serves as a guarantee for peace. "This will help the world share China's peace dividends along with economic ones," he said.

Overseas Chinese applauded the Army Day parade, believing a strong army is necessary to guarantee China's development and prosperity.

"China's development and peaceful rise in a complicated international environment call for an army capable of safeguarding peace," said Chen Ronghua, honorary chairman of the U.S. association of Fujian townsmen.

Commenting on China's military development over the past decades, Belarussian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov has recently said the PLA is today a well-equipped and modernized military force, making a huge contribution to maintaining regional and global security.

Qiao Fengxiang, Professor of Texas Southern University and Founding President of U.S.-China Friendship Association, said that the peaceful rise of China requires peaceful domestic and international environments, which however do not always come naturally to any country.

China seeks a peaceful international environment to develop itself and realize the Chinae Dream, and at the same time safeguards and promotes world peace through its own development, Qiao said.

"To this end, building strong armed forces is essential," Qiao added.

Bo Zhiyue, the founder and president of the Bo Zhiyue China Institute, said that it is critical for every country in the world to build a modernized army.

China, the biggest developing country in the world, needs a powerful people's army to provide assurance for its economic growth and safeguard its state sovereignty, Bo added.

China's grand strategy is peaceful development, and the core of the strategy is economic growth, said Bo, adding that building a world-class armed force is of vital significance to a country's sovereignty, security and development.

Former Chilean President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle has expressed his congratulation for the PLA's 90th founding anniversary.

He said that both Chile and China are peace-loving countries, which have maintained good military-to-military relations.

The former president added that he believed the two countries will continue to develop their military-to-military relations and make concerted efforts to safeguard peace.

Bambang Suryono, an Indonesian scholar and president of the Jakarta-based think tank Nanyang ASEAN Foundation, said that China's PLA is capable of deterring and wining wars as it has made eye-catching achievements in military capabilities and national defense building.

Meanwhile, Major General David Gawn, Head of Mission and Chief of Staff to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), spoke highly of the troops of China.

"Right now, I work as the head of commission for UNTSO. I have five Chinese officers under my command. I'm very impressed with the professionalism and everything that they do," said Gawn.

"Having worked an exercise with Chinese and the PLA, I wouldn't expect anything less. I think as much as the world knows, China is the biggest contributor to U.N. operations. We couldn't be there without China. So, great country, great relationship and great troop," added Gawn.

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