China held an enormous military parade today to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the second World War. Hundreds of jets, ballistic missiles, tanks and thousands of troops participated.
Markets are closed in China today and tomorrow, while Hong Kong will be open on Friday. On Wednesday, Chinese markets were down more than 4%, but came back to close about flat. Many observers assumed this was because state entities had been told to buy ahead of the big military parade.
Putin and Ban-Ki Moon were in attendance at the parade, most other foreign heads of government declined to attend.
I’m sure the folks with military chops will have more to say about this, but here’s the FT:China unveils ‘Guam Express’ advanced anti-ship missile
Analysts who had been expecting to catch the first public glimpse of the DF-21D “carrier-killer” missile were not disappointed. The missile — for which there is no reliable defence — has been in development since 2011. Its unveiling on Thursday ended weeks of suspense among the global army of specialists who track Beijing’s defence technology breakthroughs.
“While an ASBM [Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile] version of the DF-26 was predictable, that it is already a deployed system is quite a shock,” said Rick Fisher, Senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington.
The longer range of the DF-26 — the DF-21D can only reach 1,500km — means it is capable of reaching the so-called “second island chain” in the western Pacific Ocean, all the way to the US base on Guam.
The missiles are clearly intended to threaten aircraft carriers, making them less effective (cough, useless) as force projection tools. Presumably, someone in the US military knows this and is hard at work on massive submarine drone-carriers.
Internestingly, Xi also announced that China would be reducing it’s standing army from 2.3 million to 2 million.
A number of news agencies reported that a fleet of Chinese naval ships was spotted in international waters off the coast of Alaska during Obama’s visit.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first time the United States had seen Chinese navy ships in the Bering Sea.