China’s WWII Victory Parade and military showcase

An infographic comprehensively capturing the restrictions in place on travel and activities during the Victory Day parade period. Source: The Beijinger

The Beijinger: The Beijinger’s Roundup of All Road, Travel, and Other Restrictions for the Sep 3 Holiday.

  • A comprehensive analysis of the many restrictions laid in place for the duration of the massive military parade on September 3. Infographic at right.

Bloomberg News: Xi’s Military Parade Fans Unease in Region Already Wary of China

“There is a fairly crude signal to the international community that China is a modern power not to be trifled with,” said Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra. “But this doesn’t sit well with the anxiety that already exists in the region.”

People’s Daily: 天安门搭建长城造型观礼台 最多可容纳5万人 (Tiananmen Square construction for the Victory Day events includes a spectator booth resembling the Great Wall; Can hold as many as 50,000 people (photos).
  • Elaborate construction at Tiananmen Square is in full swing in preparation of the Victory Day celebrations planned for early September. One of the highlights is the massive spectator stadium constructed in the image of the Great Wall, which is expected to hold tens of thousands of people.
People’s Daily: 人民日报新论:“大阅兵”彰显新安全观 (People’s Daily new commentary: ‘Big military parade’ manifests a new sense of security.)
  • The Victory Day military parade is more than a celebration of an anniversary; it is a manifestation of China’s newfound military might, and a necessary reminder of war so that peace might be maintained.
People’s Daily: 忘记历史就可能重蹈覆辙 (Forgetting history means repeating the disasters of the past.)
  • People’s Daily editorial discusses the significance of the upcoming WWII anniversary and its implications for the future of politics in northeast Asia.
People’s Daily: 习近平一年来十谈抗战历史:刻骨铭心 永不忘记 (Xi Jinping’s commentaries on WWII over the last year: Deeply engraved in our hearts, we will never forget.)
  • A summary of Xi Jinping’s public addresses on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, focusing on Japan’s controversial interpretations of the war seven decades later.
Xinhua Net: Overseas journalists invited to cover China’s V-Day celebrations
  • China is inviting journalists from a number of foreign countries to come to China to cover the celebrations planned for the 70th anniversary of V-Day, which officially marked Chinese victory over invading Japanese forces during the Anti-Fascist War (WWII). Journalists are encouraged to register through an online portal to apply for a permit to arrive in China for the festivities, which are planned to take place from 2-3 September 2015.

Xinhua:Backgrounder: facts about China’s coming V-Day celebrations

Bloomberg News: Less TV, No Smog and Other Edicts for China’s Military Parade
  • As Beijing ramps up for the massive military parade, Beijing residents are once again exposed to familiar patterns: less driving, better air, and closed-off areas.
China Digital Times: Minitrue: Don’t Rain On Our Military Parade
  • An English translation of the leaked instructions issued to media outlets in advance of the military parade.
Quartz: The attendees to China’s military parade: leaders of the world’s least-powerful countries
  • 30 world leaders are slated to attend the military parade commemorating the end of WWII. The list is fairly unimpressive; the Western world will be sending no heads of state, and aside from Russia and South Korea, there are few names of any note. 外媒:中国借大阅兵展现自信 打消投资者疑虑 (Foreign media: China is using the military parade to display self-confidence and dispel the doubts of investors.)
  • A Chinese news source offers perspective on foreign media’s claims that the military parade has been engineered to occur just as investors’ doubts about China peaked following the stock market instability of the past few weeks.
Xinhua News: S. Korean president to attend China’s military parade in apparent snub to Washington
  • Amid Washington rumors that she had been dissuaded not to do so, the South Korean president will be attending China’s military parade in a bid to ‘secure stability’ in the region.
New York Times: Beijing’s World War II Military Parade: What to Expect
People’s Daily: 全国各地举行抗战胜利70周年纪念活动:忆抗战往事,抒家国情怀 (70th anniversary commemorative celebrations of WWII hosted across the nation: Remembering the past war, expressing what is in the nation’s heart.)
  • A sentimental summary of the meaning behind the WWII anniversary celebrations.
People’s Daily: 十条”干货”带你读懂抗战胜利70周年纪念活动安排 (Ten ‘snacks’ to guide you through plans for the WWII 70th anniversary commemorative activities.)
  • A step-by-step walkthrough of the major milestone events for the WWII 70th anniversary celebrations.
People’s Daily: 血泊中不屈的脊梁(民族记忆·你不知道的抗战故事)(An unyielding backbone in a bloodbath: Folk memories – Hidden stories of WWII.)
  • A compilation of personal vignettes about WWII.
People’s Daily: 铭记历史 缅怀英烈; 各地举行纪念抗战胜利70周年纪念活动综述 (Engrave history in one’s memory, remember the heroes; Summary of the commemorative celebrations across the nation for the 70th anniversary of WWII.)
  • An exhortation by the People’s Daily to remember WWII, with a summary of major events planned in celebration across China.
People’s Daily: 人民日报新论:大阅兵,阅的就是精气神 (People’s Daily new commentary: The military parade also puts the people’s spirit on parade.)
  • This editorial piece posits that the true spirit of the WWII 70th anniversary events lies in the hearts of Chinese citizens, and that there is more happening in the coming days than political machinations.

Victory Day Parade: The aftermath

New York Times: Preparing for a Military Parade, China Deploys a Troop of Monkeys.
  • Concerned that the presence of stray birds might interrupt the festivities planned to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, Beijing’s government has deployed a team of macaques to destroy nests near the planned parade sites.
New York Times: China Announces Cuts of 300,000 Troops at Military Parade Showing Its Might.
  • In his address to the nation during the festivities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, Xi Jinping made the somewhat incongruous announcement that China would be cutting 300,000 troops from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in an effort to modernise and streamline the nation’s military. Even after the cuts, the PLA still boasts an estimated 2 million personnel. 9月3日北京全市禁止放飞鸽子 违禁将严肃处理 (3 September: Beijing authorities place city-wide ban on the release of pigeons; Violators to be dealt with ‘harshly.’)
  • The release of pigeons has been outlawed within the municipality of Beijing for the duration of the military parade festivities to be hosted on 3 September, local authorities announced.
New York Times: As China’s Economy Falters, Military Parade Offers Chance to Burnish Image.
  • The ostentatious military parade hosted on 3 September is anticipated to draw attention away from the latest wave of woes hitting the Chinese stock market. However, whether the event will leave an impression of China’s strength or only exaggerate its political backwardness remains to be seen.
The Japan Times: China screams for Tojo ice cream on war anniversary.
  • A Shanghai ice cream firm is offering an edible ice cream imitation of the likeness of executed Japanese war criminal Hideki Tojo on the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender at the end of WWII.
Wall Street Journal: Chinese Firm Makes Treat Shaped Like Japanese War Criminal.
  • The Shanghai ice cream company responsible for 3D-printed treats shaped in the likenesses of South Korean popstar Psy and Apple CEO Steve Jobs has added the next celebrity to its line of freezable treats: Japanese war criminal Hideki Tojo.
New York Times: Military Parade in China Gives Xi Jinping a Platform to Show Grip on Power.
  • The military parade on 3 September was more about demonstrating the firm grip of the new helmsman, Xi Jinping, than it was commemoration of the conflict between China and Japan. Time will tell if this hold on power is as strong as it appears, given the recent economic slowdown plaguing the country.
People’s Daily: 各国政要和轨迹组织领带人高度评价中国抗战胜利日纪念活动 (Global and international organization leaders highly praise the PRC’s 70th anniversary commemorative activities.)
  • A roundup of articles describing and assessing the military parades and events hosted on 3 September.
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