China is set to unveil the “ultimate doomsday weapon” during one of the nation’s biggest military parades on Tuesday in a clear sign of the country’s growing arsenal.
clutch of new military hardware is expected to take centre stage at a
huge parade in China’s capital Beijing on October 1 to mark 70 years of
Communist rule. It will take place in Tiananmen Square in front of
officials, selected members of the public and 188 military attaches from
The most hotly-anticipated piece of equipment is the Dongfeng-41, an intercontinental ballistic missile that is said to have the furthest range of any nuclear missile and could reach the United States in 30 minutes.
Speculation has been rife as to what weapons will be unveiled, with parade rehearsals showing missiles and aircraft under camouflage wraps.
The parade comes against the backdrop of worsening economic relations with the US and continued angry protests in Hong Kong. The Chinese government is keen to assert its dominance in Asia and particularly in the South China Sea where it has been busy building militarised islands in international waters.
It also wants to enforce its claim to Taiwan which has been effectively an independent nation since the Communists took over the Chinese mainland in 1949 and which Beijing regards as a renegade province.
China’s message to the US is that it is closer to matching it in terms of military might. A defence ministry spokesman recently said China had no intention to “flex its muscles” but was instead keen to show a “peace-loving and responsible China”.