China is going way overboard in plans to display its military muscle on Thursday in Tienanmen Square to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
First of all, even though seven decades have passed since the war ended, it remains distasteful to trot out soldiers, jet fighters, tanks and other weapons to commemorate the global bloodshed and atrocities tied to that unprecedented military conflict. Added to that is the tension China continues to cause in the South China Sea by building artificial islands and landing strips.
Taiwan isn’t at all happy about China’s planned military show. Chinese Nationalists were forced to flee to Taiwan after losing China’s civil war in 1949. Tension between the two countries have run high ever since.
In all, about 12,000 soldiers are to march through Tienanmen Square with many armored vehicles. Fighter jets are expected to fly overhead. China boasts the second-largest military budget next to the United States.
What’s also telling are the world leaders who plan to attend the show. They include Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is creating his own global problems with Ukraine and in annexing Crimea. Those actions have drawn economic sanctions from the West.
A surprising name on the Beijing guest list is United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Many nations, including Japan, aren’t at all happy with that. Nearly all top Western leaders have either declined to attend the event or were not invited, the McClatchy Washington Bureau reports.
Good. This show of force by China is unnecessary, in poor taste and the timing is awful even if it helps cover up China’s sputtering economy and fumbling in handling the warehouse explosion last month that killed 158 people in Tianjin.