China to cut troops by 300,000: President Xi
Updated: 2015-09-03 10:35
Chinese President Xi delievers a speech on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]
China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000 and China will never seek hegemony but protect the peace of the country and the world, President Xi Jinping said Thursday in his speech at the V-Day military parade as part of China's commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
"It's a common practice for Chinese leaders to pledge disarmament after big parades ... China downsized its army by one million in 1985, after the 1984 parade," said Song Xiaojun, a military commentator.
After former presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao took power, they also announced disarmament by 500,000 and 200,000.
Though the disarmament announcement is not a new practice, it's in line with Xi's pledge of never seeking hegemony, said Song.
Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission and general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called on people to commemorate the hard-won peace after years of bloody war that inflicted heavy losses on China and other countries.
In honoring the Chinese who perished and those who contributed to the victory in the deadly conflict with Japan, the parade is a tribute to history and a call for peace, Xi said.
The war inflicted suffering not only on the Chinese people, but also on Japanese people, Xi said.
President Xi Jinping paid high tribute to all the veterans, comrades, patriots and officers in China who took part in the War of Resistance and all the Chinese at home and abroad who contributed significantly to the victory of the War.
Xi inspects the troops afterwards.
The excerpt of the speech:
Seventy years ago today, the Chinese people... won a great victory against Japanese aggression, marking the world victory in the anti-fascist war.
Today is a day that is worth being remembered by people around the world.
I send heartfelt gratitude to foreign governments that assisted the Chinese people in resisting aggression.
This remarkable feat by the Chinese people was rare in the history of war.
In that devastating war, the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression started the earliest and lasted the longest.
This great triumph crushed the plot of the Japanese militarists to colonize and enslave China and put an end to China's national humiliation of suffering successive defeats at the hands of foreign aggressors in modern times.
With huge national sacrifice, the Chinese people held ground in the main theater in the East of the World Anti-Fascist War, thus making major contribution to its victory.
The aim of our commemoration... is to bear history in mind, honor all those who laid down their lives, cherish peace and open up the future.
Ravaging through Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, that war inflicted over 100 million military and civilian casualties. China suffered over 35 million casualties and the Soviet Union lost more than 27 million lives during the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.
War is like a mirror. Looking at it helps us better understand the value of peace.
China will remain committed to peaceful development.
We Chinese love peace. No matter how much stronger it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation.
The PLA is the people's army. All its officers, men and women, must bear in mind their responsibility of serving the people whole-heartedly. China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000.
The justice will prevail. The peace will prevail. The people will prevail.