China puts on huge show of force at parade, to cut troop levels

September 3, 2015 3:03 AM

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BEIJING China put on its biggest display of military might on Thursday in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War Two, an event shunned by most Western leaders but which underscored Beijing's growing confidence in its armed forces.

President Xi Jinping, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square before the parade began, offered an unexpected olive branch by saying China would cut its troop levels by 300,000. That would streamline one of the world's biggest militaries, currently around 2.3-million strong.

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