China military parade shows might as Xi Jinping pledges 300,000 cut in army


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Chinese president Xi Jinping made an unexpected pledge on Thursday to cut his army by 300,000 troops, even as his armed forces put on a massive show of force during a 70th anniversary military parade commemorating the end of the second world war.

In the surprise announcement in front of a gathering of some of the world’s leaders in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Xi said China was committed to peaceful development.

And he pledged his country would “never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation”.

However his words will not reassure some of China’s neighbours who will have looked on the display of military with some concern.

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