China will showcase some domestically produced, advanced military equipment at an upcoming parade, authorities announced Thursday.
The parade, to be held Oct. 1 in the capital Beijing, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China following the communist victory of nationalist forces in 1949.
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, the parade will be bigger than those that commemorated the 50th and 60th founding anniversaries, as well as the military parade in 2015 that commemorated the Allied defeat of imperial Japan in 1945.
Gen. Cai Zhijun, a member of the Chinese Army General Staff, said at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday that China’s People’s Liberation Army “will show some advanced weapons for the first time.”
He did not go into specifics, but Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that the weapon systems that will make their debut include the DF-41 road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile.
A Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. A new version of the aircraft may make an appearance at the Oct. 1 parade. (Liu Rui/Xinhua via AP)
Both missiles are typically fitted with nuclear warheads. The DF-41 is a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle. It’s able to carry 10-12 nuclear warheads, each of which can be directed to a different target.
Photographs of flypast rehearsals for the parade suggest a new version of the Xi’an H-6K bomber and cruise missile carrier will also make an appearance. This variant, reportedly designated the H-6N, is equipped with an in-flight refueling probe to extend its range.
The Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jet, which entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force this year following operational test and evaluation, will also take part in the parade flypast, although this will not be its first appearance at such events.
Cai took pains to note that the size of the military parade was not a sign of aggression and that the People’s Liberation Army was “committed to safeguarding world peace and regional stability.”
“This military parade won’t be targeted at any countries or districts and any specific incidents,” he said.