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Chinese flaunt their army’s military might

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About 15 000 military personnel, 580 pieces of military equipment and 160 aircraft took part in an awesome display put on for flag-waving spectators, led by President Xi Jinping

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CHINA unveiled a formidable nuclear missile yesterday as it flexed its military muscle with a parade of 15 000 troops.

The vehicle-mounted Dongfeng-17 is believed to have the capacity to breach all existing anti-missile shields deployed by the United States and its allies.

The hypersonic weapon – which can travel at five times the speed of sound – was among hundreds displayed to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Fighter jets flew over the spectators in Tiananmen Square, who waved Chinese flags under the cloudy autumn sky.

About 15 000 military personnel, 580 pieces of military equipment and 160 aircraft took part in an awesome display put on for flag-waving spectators, led by President Xi Jinping.

He invoked the “Chinese dream” of national rejuvenation – his grand vision of restoring the country to perceived past glory – telling the crowds: “There is no force that can shake the foundation of this great nation.”

US President Donald Trump paid tribute online to China’s decades of Communist rule, despite the toxic trade war between the two nations. He wrote: “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!”

The parade included a weapon that could reach the US in half an hour.

The Dongfeng 41, believed to be the world’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, has a reach of 9 300 miles. It flies at 25 times the speed of sound, and can send up to ten warheads to separate targets. The DF-17 was the stand-out weapon on parade, however. The “hyper-glide” missile flies at a much lower altitude than similar models before delivering its warhead – further frustrating attempts to detect and intercept attacks.

Analysts have called the DF-17 a threat to regional stability because its speed allows far less time to determine whether nuclear weapons should be fired in response.

China also showed drones including the W-8 and “Sharp Sword”, believed to be capable of attacking military bases. It also flaunted unmanned submarines – effectively underwater drones – which can reach depths far deeper than those with human crews.

Beijing insists all its weapons are homegrown – but the regime is believed to have benefited from imported technology and industrial espionage.

Yesterday’s parade followed weeks of unrest in Hong Kong. It was overshadowed by further protests there against control from the mainland, which saw live ammunition fired at activists.