CThousands of troops marched through the square in tight formation. — AFP/VNA Photo
BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday pledged that the country will stay on the path of peaceful development, and pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while delivering a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
"We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for humanity," Xi said.
Some 15,000 troops along with tanks, missiles and high-tech drones paraded down the Avenue of Eternal Peace as Xi and other Communist Party leaders watched from a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Xi, who wore the distinctive "Mao suit", delivered a speech invoking the "Chinese dream" of national rejuvenation -- his grand vision of restoring the country to perceived past glory.
"There is no force that can shake the foundation of this great nation," Xi said from the Tiananmen rostrum where Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.
"No force that can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation forging ahead," the country's most powerful leader since Mao said before reviewing troops in an open-roof car.
Helicopters flew in a "70" formation over the city as troops goosestepped across Tiananmen Square in what state media described as the country's biggest ever military parade.
The People's Liberation Army brought out its newest pieces of hardware, including the DF-41, a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile with range enough to reach the entire United States, and the DF-17, a launcher for a hypersonic glider.
Warplanes soared through the smog-choked skies, and a high-altitude, high-speed reconnaissance drone made a public appearance for the first time.
In his speech, Xi called for continued efforts to realise the country's complete reunification.
"On our journey forward, we must uphold the principles of 'peaceful reunification' and 'one country, two systems,' maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, unite all Chinese sons and daughters, and continue to strive for the motherland's complete reunification," Xi said.
He also called for concerted efforts to achieve the two centenary goals and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
China's yesterday had been inscribed in human history while China's today is being created in the hands of hundreds of millions of Chinese people, Xi said, adding that "China will surely have an even brighter future."
All Party members, armed forces and people of all ethnic groups should unite more closely together, stay true to the founding mission, build on existing achievements and continue to develop our people's republic, Xi said, adding that continued efforts should be made to achieve the two centenary goals and national rejuvenation. — XINHUA/AFP