Seventy years ago on the First National Day of the People's Republic, 19,000 soldiers marched past Mao on Tiananmen Square, and 17 aircraft were in the air. Nine of the aircraft flew over the square twice, and it looked like the Chinese army had more planes than one had.

Aircraft carrier

According to Chinese media, this year's parade will contain 160 aircraft. But there will be slightly fewer soldiers than 70 years ago: 15,000. Although it is still just as important to impress. According to Chinese media, the army is to present several news in connection with National Day: a stealth drone, and two new vessels, the first domestically produced aircraft carrier and an amphibious vessel.

- The fact that China has developed and developed an aircraft carrier is seen as a milestone in its military modernization process, as it is a very complex project. It shows that China now has the capacity and resources to develop advanced weapons systems on its own and that they are therefore not as dependent on importing foreign systems, says Sofia Ledberg, associate professor of war science at the Swedish Defense College.

- Modernization is also about an effective command system and non-corrupt commands. Both things have had problems with China in the past, she continues.

A military vehicle carries what is believed to be a ballistic robot to be displayed when the People's Republic of China celebrates 70 years. Photo: Reuters September 14, 2019

Second largest

China's military budget is the second largest in the world, after the United States. According to official sources, China's military budget for 2019 is equivalent to SEK 1735 billion, and the United States is spending the equivalent of SEK 6687 billion. Thus, US military spending is almost four times that of China.