(TibetanReview.net, Aug31, 2015) – India has turned down an invitation from China to take part in a Sep 3 international military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of what it calls “the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggressions and the World Anti-Fascist War”. A total of 1000 troops from 17 countries, including, notably, India’s arch-enemy Pakistan, are taking part.
China’s official Xinhua news agency showed troops from countries such as Russia, Tadzhikistan, Mexico and Pakistan rehearsing for the parade in Beijing. They will march alongside the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
China is expected to hold a rare public display of some of its most advanced battle- tanks, bombers and missiles, with India being among the obvious targets of intimidation, given their dispute along occupied Tibet’s borders.
Along with a contingent of 75 troops, China had sought the attendance of India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, who had attended Russia’s WWII victory parade in May this year when Indian troops also participated along with those from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Serbia, reported Mail Today Aug 29.
While no Indian troops will be seen among the marchers in Beijing, the country will be represented at the parade by its Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) VK Singh, a level far lower than what Beijing had asked for, the report noted. Singh, a former Army Chief, will hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi a day after the parade.
The report cited leading Chinese strategic expert Jin Canrong of Renmin University as saying the view in Beijing was that only “true friends” of China were sending troops for the parade. “One of the diplomatic aims behind the military parade is to make clear who will be China’s true friends,” he was quoted as having told the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) in a barb seemingly aimed at India.