Pakistan president, troops to attend V-Day parade in Beijing (The Nation (Pakistan))

China is all set to demonstrate its military power on Victory Day celebrations, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II to be held on Thursday.

The event, wherein more than 10,000 Chinese troops will parade at central Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, will also include around 1,000 foreign contingents from 17 different countries.

Some 75 troops from three services of Pakistan, who will take part in the military parade, have already arrived in Beijing.

A senior official of Pakistan Embassy in Beijing told Media that President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussian and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashid Mahmood will attend the V-Day celebrations.

The president will arrive in Beijing on today (Tuesday).

Some thirty heads of states, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye, will attend V-Day celebrations.

Countries including Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, Pakistan, Mexico, Mongolia, Serbia, Tajikistan and Russia have dispatched formations to march in the parade, said Qu Rui, deputy chief of the Operations Department of the General Staff Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

All foreign troops have already arrived at the parade training base and are training with their Chinese counterparts.

They participated in parade rehearsals on Thursday and Saturday last week.

Other six countries Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Vanuatu and Venezuela sent teams of around seven people each, he said.

The troops will be grouped alphabetically according to their country names, and will follow PLA foot formations in the parade.

The parade marchers will pass the giant rostrum in central Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, either on foot or in vehicles, while close to 200 military aircraft fly in formations overhead.

The participation of foreign formations, representative teams and military delegations manifests the international nature of the war.

We firmly believe that the commemoration activities will cement trust between the PLA and foreign troops participating in the parade, he said.

Zhang Ming, vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a press conference that attendees of the events, including a military parade, will also include government representatives from 19 countries and heads of 10 international organizations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Six former top politicians, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, will also attend the event.

Other heads of state and government leaders coming to Beijing include President of Myanmar Thein Sein, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and Choe Ryong-hae, a senior official of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Ambassadors and envoys to China will also be present on the occasion, said Zhang.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not on the list while top leaders of the United States, Britain and France are not attending China’s celebrations, said Zhang.

We have invited leaders of relevant countries to join the Chinese people to celebrate this great day.

But it is their own decision.

For us, we respect and welcome all guests, he said.

Dismissing concerns that China is flexing its muscles through the parade, Zhang said the country is only demonstrating its aspiration for peace and a firm will to defend it.

Although China has so far held 14 military parades to mark National Day, the parade on September 3 will be the first commemorating the anniversary of the end of WWII and the victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

It is also the first time that foreign armies will participate in a military parade in China.