Group interview on the National Day military parade

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Major General Cai Zhijun, deputy director of the Leading Group Office of the Military Parade, deputy director general of the Operation Bureau of the Joint Staff Department under the Central Military Commission

Major General Tan Min, executive deputy director of the Military Parade Joint Command Office, deputy chief of staff at the Central Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, director general of the Information Office and spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense


Xi Yanchun, person in charge of the Press Center for the Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China


September 24, 2019

Xi Yanchun:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to attend this group interview. 

Present here are: Major General Cai Zhijun, deputy director of the Leading Group Office of Military Parade, and deputy director general of the Operation Bureau of the Joint Staff Department under the Central Military Commission (CMC); Major General Tan Min, executive deputy director of the Military Parade Joint Command Office, and deputy chief of staff at the Central Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA); and Senior Colonel Wu Qian, director general of the Information Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense. They will brief us on the National Day military parade.

Now, I'll give the floor to Major General Cai Zhijun. 

Cai Zhijun:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good afternoon. It is my pleasure to give you an introduction to the military parade to be held in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

This is the first military parade held on the occasion of the National Day after the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core began to lead the whole Party, the military and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to enter a new era; it also marks the debut for the whole of the PRC's armed forces after its comprehensive restructuring. As a significant component of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, the military parade aims to reinforce the political belief that the people's armed forces always obey the Party's command, and offers an opportunity to display the great achievements in building a strong armed forces through reform, demonstrate the comprehensive capability of the PLA to carry out its assigned mission and tasks for the new era, as well as showing our confidence to achieve the goal of transforming the people's armed forces into a world-class entity , and reflect our firm resolve to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as safeguard and promote world peace and regional stability. It will motivate and encourage the Party, the military and the people of all ethnic groups in China to continue to strive for the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. 

The military parade, consisting of two parts - inspection and marchpast - will last around 80 minutes. The military forces to be reviewed will line up in formations and receive inspection from Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, president of the PRC and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Then, the air flag guard formation, foot phalanxes, armament phalanxes and aircraft echelon formations will cross Tian'anmen Square in succession.

There will be 59 distinctive formations and echelons, and a joint military band, comprising a total of 15,000 personnel, more than 160 aircraft of various types and 580 of various types of advanced armament - the most to be seen in recent parades. The foot phalanxes consist of 15 formations: guards of honor, formations drawn from all branches of the services, formations of female soldiers, representatives from the research faculties of various institutions and universities, civilian staff in the armed forces, reserve forces, militia and peacekeeping troops. The armament phalanxes consist of 32 formations in seven modules: ground assault weaponry, offshore assault weaponry, air defense and anti-missile weaponry, information equipment, unmanned combat equipment, logistic equipment and strategic strike weaponry. Aircraft echelons consist of 12 formations: leading aircraft echelon, early warning planes, bombers, carrier-based aircraft, fighters and aircraft from the army aviation unit. The joint military band, with the Military Band of the Chinese People's Liberation Army as the mainstay, is supplemented by more than 1,300 people drawn from other units.  

This year's military parade has several highlights and characteristics as follows:

First, it clearly demonstrates that the people's armed forces are loyal to the CPC. Through the elements of troops inspection, solemn salute, powerful statement and marchpast, it will declare our unswerving adherence to the principle of the CPC's absolute leadership, our firm resolution to follow the commands of the CPC Central Committee, the CMC and Chairman Xi, and our keen awareness to showing our resolute loyalty in support of and safeguarding the leadership core.

Second, the whole event will be staged with grandeur and solemnity. We have designed several rites for such key links in the parade as the beginning of the troop inspection and marchpast, including pacesetters taking their positions, sounding of the bugle, and reporting and saluting, so as to create a very solemn atmosphere for this grand event. The helicopter echelon will form numbers and characters in flight, planes will produce assorted colors of smoke in the air and flags will be displayed both in the air and on the ground. These activities will all demonstrate that, under the strong leadership of the CPC, which is great, glorious and correct, China has achieved remarkable development over the past 70 years since the founding of the PRC, and the modernization of the people's armed forces has made historic accomplishments. The military band will play music and songs that reflect characteristics of the new era and express strong patriotic feelings, so as to create a warm festive atmosphere. The repertoire list includes more than 50 pieces, a greater number than any previous National Day celebration.    

Third, the military parade will take on a new look brought about by the process of military reform. In the light of building a system of a modern military force with Chinese characteristics, the foot formations will feature participation of all major military units, many making a debut. For example, the formation of military officers will include members from the leadership of Central Military Commission (CMC) organs, theater commands, various services and arms, and the Chinese People's Armed Police. This reflects the establishment of new leadership, management and operational command systems. The formation of military academies includes members from the National Defense University of the PLA, National University of Defense Technology and the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, showcasing the important position of the military academies and scientific research institutes in strengthening our armed forces. The formation of civilian personnel includes members from the joint logistic support force, embodying the vital role played by civilian personnel in military development during the reform process. 

Fourth, the latest achievements in China's national defense and military development will be showcased. Some of the new armaments and equipment of the PLA's ground force, navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force will be inspected to highlight the great development of the national defense science and technology industries over the past 70 years. The proportion of advanced armaments and equipment on display for the first time is relatively high, compared with the military parade at Zhurihe training base in July 2017, and the navy parade in April 2019.

Fifth, the Chinese military's enhanced comprehensive capability to perform its missions will be fully demonstrated. The armament section of the parade will focus on joint formation, joint command, joint operation and joint support, featuring information dominance, systemic support, elite forces and joint operational capabilities. For example, the unmanned combat unit will showcase weaponry used by the PLA's ground force, navy and air force, and quite a number of items are being displayed for the first time. The unit for information combat will present equipment on electronic warfare, information/communications, surveying and navigation, and the meteorological and hydrological services of the strategic support force, seeking to show how the space-based information system is being applied. The formation of the peacekeeping forces will demonstrate China's resolve and capabilities in maintaining world peace and regional stability. 

Sixth, the military parade will highlight the importance of commanders. Most formations will be headed by two commanders of general rank. The number of high-level commanders and generals participating in the parade will reach a record high.

Seventh, the theme of passing on the revolutionary traditions will be fully presented. A formation of military flags will spotlight the PLA's military flags during the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, the War of Liberation, as well as those belonging to meritorious PLA units since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. It aims to add a sense of history to the military parade, commemorate revolutionary martyrs, remember meritorious PLA units, and carry forward the revolutionary traditions.

Eighth, analog simulation technologies have been effectively used in preparation for the military parade. The analog simulation system has been applied in designing the overall plan of a military parade for the first time, in order to show the formational arrangements, movements and inspection status through a 3-D simulation model. This will greatly improve the formation arrangements and visual effects.

Ninth, the military parade features efficient and intensive logistics support. Under the principle of practicing frugality with a strict budget and based on the existing system of joint logistic support, we have ensured the effectiveness of logistic support for the upcoming parade. We have the most comprehensive logistic support system ever seen. There is only one week to go before the military parade. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the CMC and Chairman Xi, the participating troops are ready to receive inspection by the Party and the nation with great confidence, resolve, capability and high morale, and to stage a grand parade of a modernized and powerful Chinese military. That is all for my introduction. Thank you.

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