China held it’s 70th annual National Day in Beijing on Oct. 1. This is a very important holiday in the Chinese calendar for celebrating the communist country, the New York Times reports. As officials, including President Xi Jinping, dancers and citizens flooded the square, eyes were waiting for another grand display. The military came out guns blazing with an 80 minute precession of 580 pieces of weaponry and equipment that was domestically in service and constructed in China, according to CNN.
The holiday’s military segment was implemented to show advancement over the past 7 decades, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. CNN reported before the parade that, “China is expected to show off some of the most advanced weaponry the world has ever seen.” Anticipated innovative weaponry shown were missiles in various forms, bomber planes, drones and tanks.
While something like a JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) sounds terrifyingly destructive, China actually still falls short compared to the US Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic submarine fleet numbers 14, which is designed to carry more missiles and warheads, as reported by CNN. While that may be true, China is still coming out strong as the drones they’ve built are said to have “sleek shape and supersonic speed” as well as sophistication. When first hearing about new weapons of this caliber, it was easy to initially believe they’re excessive, none the less unnecessary. However it’s difficult to express backlash as the U.S houses about the same level of weaponry.
Not everyone is in favor of National Day, and China is aware of that as high security is not only implemented on the ground, but also over the internet. Internet access in the city was policed. Even a popular microblogging site called Weibo, claimed to have been deleting content that “distorts” or “insults” Chinese history. The NYT also states that National Day pertains to Hong Kong as well, where people fled to the streets to protest in favor of democracy, not because of China’s updated arsenal.
The thought of highly dangerous weapons manifesting in other countries beside our own is always unsettling, especially if they’re paraded around typical areas of civilization. However, it’s important to look at multiple sides; in this case, those others are the U.S and varying countries. This in part can help understand that China is not the only one with weapons of mass destruction, and not the first to consider this kind of military parade.
The Washington Post wrote back in July of this year that U.S President Donald J. Trump proposed an idea to have bomber planes and tanks at a Fourth of July event he was hosting in D.C. Trump wanted a spectacle as part of a Fourth of July to expand his salute to America, stating it would be, “like no other. It’ll be special.” The event included military tanks, Blue Angels, an F-35 stealth fighter and Air Force One, reported CNN. Not everyone was in favor, as U.S military chiefs were initially concerned about weaponry shown at what became more of a political event, CNN further states.
While the U.S did not dedicate military pieces to the extent of China, the idea of military and it’s tie to strength and celebration seems to be a universal concept throughout world leaders. I for one would rather see this grade of effort go into more specialized issues, like poverty, health and overall well being of humanity. What always seems to prevail is the idea of being the superior entity-to feel safe on your homefront, especially when facing international powers.
In simplicity, the idea of showcasing newly destructive weapons roots back to the need for protection, but this notion of protection also comes with putting up a strong front. Should any country need to feel so threatened to build such powerful weaponry? Absolutely not. However, at this moment the world is past the point of bow and arrows with rocks as spears. Unfortunately, if one has this magnitude of an arsenal, so must everyone else. It’s nature; if there is a threat, you’re going to want to match the opponent.
While weapons around the world have been present and assembled, one can only hope the majority are able to stay on the shelves where they belong.