Rather than signal a desire for peace, the parade was an expression of belligerence that can only contribute to future tensions within a region that very much needs healing
Now that the intermediate-range nuclear missiles, combat aircraft, long-range bombers, rocket launchers, tanks, attack helicopters, 70,000 doves and countless balloons have cleared off from Tiananmen Square in Beijing, we may ask ourselves what today’s display of military strength was all about — and just as importantly, who it was directed at.
On paper, the parade was to commemorate the end of China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression during World War II and the role played by the Chinese themselves, a not uncontroversial issue given the longstanding disagreement between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over which “side” of China did most of the fighting. What was worrying about the large-scale display of modern armaments was the suggestion that militarism, whose fascist iteration ended with Japan’s defeat in the Pacific theater of operations in 1945, was once again something that is deserving of celebration.
My article, published today in Thinking Taiwan, continues here.