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China Holds Massive Military Parade To Commemorate WWII Victory

China has marked the defeat of Japan in World War II with a lavish military parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Flanked by Chinese dignitaries and foreign leaders, including Russia's Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping said on September 3 that China would "never seek hegemony or expansion."

Xi also announced that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) would be reduced by 300,000 personnel, but gave no time frame.

The PLA is by far the world's largest military, with 2.3 million members. China also has the second-biggest defense budget after the United States.

The parade involved more than 12,000 troops, 200 aircraft, as well as tanks and missiles, representing what officials described as the Chinese military's most cutting-edge technology.

The event was largely shunned by Japan, the United States, and other major democracies who have grown concerned about China's growing military power and Beijing's increasingly aggressive moves to assert territorial claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters