However the country to underline its peaceful position pledged to cut 300,000 troops from the 2.3 million strong People’s Liberation Army.
The Defence Ministry said the cuts would be mostly complete by the end of 2017.
Besides deputing a 75 member military contingent to take part in the parade, Pakistan is represented by its President Mamnoon Hussain and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Rashad.
It will be the country’s fourth cut in troop numbers since the start of the reform and opening-up era under Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s.
“Prejudice and discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and pain,” he said. “It doesn’t help China’s image as a force for peace, stability and development”, said Joseph Cheng, a retired academic and political analyst in Hong Kong.
ANDY WONG/POOL/EPA Troops look out from a bus as they arrive at Tiananmen Gate to take part in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II in Beijing. Advanced fighter jets and bombers are also due to fly overhead. In 1985, China downsized its army by more than 1 million, the biggest scale ever.
This will be China’s fourth military reduction since the 1980s. Chinese state media has said nothing about the deployment.
For Xi, the parade was also an opportunity to offer a distraction from a flood of bad news, weighing on the Chinese public from a slowing economy to a stock-market rout that’s erased $5 trillion of value and the warehouse explosions in nearby Tianjin last month that killed at least 158.
Most Western leaders rebuffed invitations to attend, diplomats said, unhappy about the guest list and wary of the message China would send with the show of strength.
China celebrates its victory in World War II on September 3, one day after the day Japan signed the official surrender in 1945.
China also claims that it is the “forgotten ally” and that its role in defeating Japan has been underplayed in the post-war narrative. At the same time, he said that China “crushed the plot of the Japanese militarists”, emphasized “resistance against Japan” and showed off inside and outside the country the latest weapons that China owns.
“During a period of strained relations between China and Japan, as well as increasing military tension in the Asia-Pacific region, some leaders are reluctant to be associated with what they may view as a nationalistic, anti-Japanese mass rally”, says Alexander Neill from the global Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore.
Washington said on Wednesday it spotted five Chinese Navy ships in worldwide waters in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska.