China today said many world leaders and over 10 foreign military forces will participate in its huge WWII memorial parade on September 3 here to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of China’s resistance against Japan.
Military units from Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries will join, said Qu Rui, deputy chief of the Operations Department of the General Staff Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
India, however, will have a low-key participation in the event.
Indian officials said that while Indian troops will not take part in the parade, an Indian delegation headed by Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (Retd) V K Singh is expected to attend the parade and the reception to be held on the occasion.
India had a high-level representation at the 70th WWII anniversary event organised in Russia in May this year.
While President Pranab Mukherjee headed the Indian delegation, a contingent of Indian troops also took part in the parade.
Qu said 12,000 troops will take part in the parade, along with 27 formations of military equipment and 10 formations of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
The Chinese event has evoked guarded response as it was at highlighting the excesses committed by Japanese troops in China over which Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed “deepest remorse” and “sincere condolences” to Japan’s wartime victims.
Qu did not provide a full list of the countries, only saying that “countries that will send formations and representative teams to the parade are from all the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and America”.
“Their participation in the parade is a clear indication of the attitude of commemorating the victory of the world anti-fascist war jointly, and a symbol of the pursuit and aspiration to the enduring world peace,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and several other leaders were expected to join. Chinese official media today said South Korean President Park Geun-hye will attend the celebrations.
There were speculations that Abe will visit China on September 3 even though he will not attend the parade as it was primarily aimed at highlighting the Japanese force’s atrocities against Chinese during the eight-year war in China.
Chinese foreign ministry, however, said there is no word from Japan over Abe’s visit.
When asked whether there was an anti-Japanese element to the parade, Qu said the war had brought great suffering to the people of both Japan and of Asia but the event aimed to look toward the future and was “not directed at any third parties”.