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Iran Press TV

China to downsize army by 300, 000 soldiers: President Xi

Iran Press TV

Sep 3, 2015 4:57AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country plans to reduce the size of the army by 300,000 troops as Beijing showcased its military might on an unprecedented scale during a grand ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of China's victory in the World War II.

China's "total victory" over Japanese invasion "restored China's status as a major country in the world", Xi said while addressing the major military parade through Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Thursday.

"The unyielding Chinese people fought gallantly and finally won total victory against the Japanese militarist aggressors, thus preserving China's 5,000-year-old civilization and upholding the cause of peace," he noted.

Xi further noted that China's military would be reduced by 300,000 troops, and that Beijing will "not seek hegemony" in the world.

The remarks come as Chinese authorities have been trimming the size of armed forces – currently the largest in the world – over the past decades as part of attempts to make it more efficient.

A total of 70 gun salutes kicked off China’s huge military parade on Thursday. Thousands of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops marched past the podium in central Beijing, followed by dozens of tanks and weapons systems shown to the public for the first time.

More than a dozen DF-21D intermediate-range anti-ship ballistic missiles described as "aircraft carrier-killers" were also put on display.

The huge military parade commemorated the end of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, as Beijing terms the global conflict.

Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945, and China celebrated its World War II victory the following day.

On Wednesday night, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended China's contributions to world peace and security.

"I am here to express my deep respect for all the contributions that China has been making for world peace and security," Ban said in Beijing during a meeting with Robin Li, the chairman and CEO of China's search engine giant Baidu.

"I am looking forward to participating in this very important ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. It also coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN," Ban said.

"China has become an indispensable member of the UN. Without Chinese participation, it's very difficult to think that we can do our global things properly," the UN chief said, stressing that China makes contributions not only to peace and security, but also to development.

"I count on strong engagement and leadership from China," Ban said.

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