Group interview on the National Day military parade

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Xi Yanchun:

Thank you, Major General Cai Zhijun. Now the floor is open to questions. Please identify your media outlet before raising questions.


It is believed that, after its reform, the PLA has entered an era of joint development. How will this year’s military parade reflect this characteristic of the PLA? Thank you.

Cai Zhijun:

Thank you for your question. Joint operations are the basic form of warfare in modern times. China's program of strengthening and reforming its military is marching toward the development of an integrated combat force and an improved joint-operational capacity. This year's military parade focuses on the mission of China's armed forces in the new era, that is the "four strategic supports," which are to provide strategic support for consolidating the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system, for safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, for protecting China's overseas interests, and for promoting world peace and development. The military parade also adheres to the general principle that the Central Military Commission exercises overall leadership, theater commands are responsible for military operations, while the various services focus on developing their respective capabilities. With a meticulously-designed leadership and command system, various phalanxes and echelon formations, the military parade this year will fully demonstrate the capacity of China's armed forces in regard to joint operations, joint training, and joint support.

In terms of its organization and command, the military parade follows the command systems for joint operations established since reform of China's armed forces. A joint command organ of the military parade, primarily consisting of elite forces from the central theater, has been set up to take charge of the planning and organizing work. In regard to the foot formations, its design will display the structure of the military forces in modern times with Chinese characteristics. In addition to the formation of a single armed force, other formations have all been jointly organized. The armament formations will be organized according to the principle of joint operations, modular units and the coordinated capacity of the armed forces. The air echelons will be organized based on the joint operation of the air force. Part of the air echelons will be organized systematically, consisting various operational and support aircraft from different units. This is designed to display the breakthroughs that have been achieved in air force combat and organizing capacity. As for the support services, it will display the strength of the joint logistic support system, in which integrated and effective support work is carried out in collaboration between the joint logistics team as well as other units of the armed forces. Therefore, the characteristic of joint development is reinforced, reflected and realized in every aspect and every process of this year's military parade. Thank you.

Asahi Shimbun:

I would like to ask a question about the armament on display. What cutting-edge weapons will be unveiled during this year's military parade, like the DF-41 missile? Thank you.

Tan Min: 

The armament to be displayed at the 70th anniversary parade has always been a matter of great concern among our media friends. There are two major features that can be highlighted. The first is that all the equipment displayed will be domestically-developed and already be in service. This will include some of the new equipment of China's armed forces, demonstrating the overall  equipment system as applied in joint operations. This will, to a certain extent, reflect China's capacity of self-innovation in its national defense scientific research. The second feature is that the equipment displayed will demonstrate a high level of information technology. Specifically, such equipment has stronger ability in terms of command and control, a higher level of precision, better adaptability in battlefield conditions, as well as improved operational capacity. As for cutting-edge weaponry like the DF-41 missile you mentioned, since there is less than a week to go until Oct. 1, let’s wait and see, and I believe it won't disappoint you. Thank you.


Will any troops from foreign countries be invited to participate in this year's military parade? Will foreign countries' defense attachés in China and their military leaders be invited to watch the military parade?

Yu Qian:

Thank you for your question. This year's parade marks the first of its kind after socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. It is also the PLA's first appearance since adoption of the reform plan. A total of 188 defense attachés from 97 countries will be invited to watch the military parade on Oct. 1. No troops from foreign countries have been invited to participate in this year's parade, and no military leaders of foreign countries have been invited to watch it. Thank you. 

Phoenix TV:

I have some questions about the personnel involved in the parade. Just as you have mentioned, the parade will comprise 15,000 participants. In what way and by what standards were these personnel selected? What’s the age distribution like? What are the minimum and maximum ages? Thanks.

Tan Min:

The selection of the participants, involved in the military parade commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China, followed closely the decisions and instructions made by the CPC Central Committee, the CMC and Chairman Xi. In line with the requirements and deployment of the Parade Leading Team of the CMC, we worked out three principles as follows:

Frist, we adopted strict criteria. The participants selected for the parade should have a firm political stance, and display strong physical and psychological capabilities and qualified military competence. All the military equipment on display is made domestically and is on active duty. 

Second, the formations are grouped systematically. In addition to a mixed formation, each of the remaining teams are formed mostly by participants from the same unit. However, we did not rule out a few selections of the candidates drawn from a wider spectrum based on the actual situation. Such formations are easier to organize, manage and keep in order.

Third, there is a reserve ready for the parade. A certain number of personnel are held in reserve for the foot formations, and additional military equipment and staff also stand ready to back up the armament formations and air echelons.

There are five criteria to choose the personnel. 

First, they are staunch and firm in their political stance. They absolutely follow the instructions of the CPC and their behavior is highly consistent with the CPC Central Committee, the CMC and Chairman Xi in terms of political stance, thoughts and actions. 

Second, they should be lofty in terms of thoughts and ethics, being patriotic, passionate and competent in military tactics and skills. They should be progressive, sublime in their pursuits and calm in coping with any challenging situations. 

Third, they should be highly disciplined. They should abide by the discipline, be totally loyal in their duties, obey orders and instructions and follow the provisions, systematic regulations and rules that have been established. 

Fourth, they should show a high level of military competence and excel in specific skills. They are required to demonstrate dexterous use of weapons and skilled techniques in their operation. Vehicle drivers should have accomplished a non-accident record above 30,000 kilometers and tank drivers should be accredited with at least a level-one professional standard. Pilots should have completed certain training and ensure their flight time meets the requirement.

Fifth, they should be in good physical condition. They should be healthy, flexible and agile. In the foot formations, the heights of male participants range between 1.75 and 1.85 meters and females between 1.63 and 1.75 meters. Those are the general yardsticks, though with a few exceptions.

The ages of the participants in the parade cover a wide range. There are young military soldiers or commanders aged around 20, and senior officers above 60. The parade with such a wide age distribution is supposed to demonstrate the outstanding traditional red culture continues to be inherited from one generation to another. It also shows that a strong country and army is a great endeavor to be pursued in common. Thank you.

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