Chinese military celebrates 86th anniversary
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 01, 2013, 22:26
Beijing: China's 2.3 million-strong PLA, the world's largest standing Army, on Thursday marked its 86th anniversary showcasing some of its latest weaponry in a display evoking its growing military might.

From a revolutionary force under the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China, the People's Liberation Army emerged as a major military force and fought a number of wars with the country's neighbours after 1949, including the 1962 war with India.

It is also one of the rare militaries which functioned under the Communist Party despite being a national Army.

With 2.3 million personnel, the PLA has risen from humble origins to a strong power corresponding with more than three decades of the country's economic boom, state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

It is now equipped with a newly-commissioned aircraft carrier, while other advanced weaponry, including a J-20 stealth fighter jet and large military transport aircraft, are in development.

The increased military power of the PLA has stirred up unease among some of China's neighbouring countries and the traditional power -- the United States, the commentary said.

The PLA Air Force has been opening up to the world's media, in an attempt to allay concerns over China's growing military might.

To mark the occasion, the PLA opened up its air defence brigade near Xi'an, in Western China's Shaanxi Province and displayed some of its new generation aircraft.

National defence and the building of the Army is at a new starting point, facing precious opportunities and a complicated domestic and exterior security environment as well, the PLA Daily said today.

At a reception to celebrate the 86th anniversary yesterday, Minister of National Defence Chang Wanquan said China will firmly pursue a path of peaceful development and enhance military cooperation with foreign countries to contribute to world peace and development.

"China will unremittingly follow a national defence policy that is defensive in nature," Chang added.


First Published: Thursday, August 01, 2013, 22:26

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