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Xi reviews display of China’s naval prowess

People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) frigate PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) steams in formation with 42 other ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe)

The spectacular parade, involving more than 10,000 Navy personnel, was held to mark the achievements of the People’s Liberation Army Navy over the past several years and to strengthen the armed forces’ determination to build a strong country and a world-class military.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviewed the warships and aircraft from onboard the CNS Changsha destroyer in waters off Hainan province’s southern coast. He was accompanied by all other members of the Central Military Commission.

In a speech after the parade, the president demanded that the Navy race against time and make all-out efforts to become a world-class force because the task’s pressing nature for the country.

He stressed that a mighty navy is an important pillar of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and he said the Party and the Chinese people are proud of the PLA Navy.

Xi asked members of the Navy to uphold the Party’s leadership, deepen military reform, enhance innovation in science and technology, develop new types of fighting forces, build modern naval warfare systems and improve the capability to undertake diversified military operations.

He also ordered that the Navy continue to focus on combat training and remain on high alert to safeguard national interests and make more contributions to the peace and stability of the region and the world.

An armada of 48 ships including the CNS Liaoning aircraft carrier took part in the unprecedented demonstration of the country’s naval prowess. The vessels were mainly combat ships such as Type 052D guided-missile destroyers, Type 054A guided-missile frigates and Type 056 corvettes. Support vessels like the Type 901 supply ship and Type 920 hospital ship also participated.

Several submarines, including at least two nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, took part in the parade.

Seventy-six naval aircraft flew over the ships and submarines. They included helicopters, fighter jets, bombers and electronic warfare aircraft.

More than half of the ships and submarines involved in the parade had been delivered to the Navy since late 2012, when the 18th CPC National Congress was held, according to the military. The Navy has commissioned around 100 ships, mostly large combat vessels, and an unknown number of submarines since then.

After the parade, Xi watched the takeoff training executed by four J-15 carrier-borne fighter jets from the Liaoning.

The last time the PLA Navy hosted a parade was in April 2009, when it celebrated its 60th birthday. Twenty-five Chinese ships and submarines and 31 naval aircraft as well as 21 vessels from 14 other countries participated in the parade off Qingdao, Shandong province. The parade was reviewed by former president Hu Jintao.

In another development, the military will perform live-fire drills in the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday, according to an announcement of the Fujian Provincial Bureau of Maritime Safety.

The administration released the coordinates of the drill zone — a rectangular area off the province’s eastern coast — on its website on Thursday, asking ships to stay out of the area.

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© 2018 the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.