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China gears up for military parade

Updated: Aug 23,2015 10:05 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — With just less than a fortnight until a spectacular military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, there has been no let up in the armed forces’ practice schedule.

Liu Shixu, chief drillmaster of the foot formations, said goose stepping and military posture were basic skills, and required of all soldiers.

“On the surface, such training has nothing to do with real combat. In practice, however, it gives an indication of commitment and will.”

The former head of China’s honor guard said tough drills put soldiers’ loyalty, ability and stamina to the test.

The Sept 3 parade will see 12,000 troops, 500 armament vehicles and 200 aircraft participate in the huge military event around Tian’anmen Square.

Ding Hui, a tank driver, believes the precision involved would help during real combat.

“Our tanks are only allowed centimeter deviations, this helps us hit our targets when doing live firing practice,” said Ding, who also participated in the two military parades in 1999 and 2009.

Chen Qian from the Second Artillery Corps, said accuracy and mobility were especially important for road-mobile weaponry systems.

“If we can’t drive a tank or a missile launcher vehicle to a designated spot, we may lose an opportunity in war.”

Qiao Liang, a military expert, said stringent practice can also enhance soldiers’ responsibility and cooperative capabilities.

“Those who think goose-stepping and marching-past are superfluous know nothing about the military. It is in these practices that soldiers’ will is forged and their power stimulated,” said Qiao.