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The gigantic military parade that will pass through Beijing on Thursday is meant to be all about the past. But, inevitably, many in the Asia-Pacific region will see it as a disturbing message about the future.
The Chinese government has called the parade to mark the 70th anniversary of “victory in the war of Japanese aggression”. But, in the 21st century, it is potential Chinese aggression that is worrying many Asian countries. China has unresolved territorial disputes with several of its neighbours. Vietnam, India, Japan and the Philippines have all complained about Chinese incursions, backed by military force, into these disputed areas. This year China has also engaged in “land reclamation” projects in the South China Sea — creating entire islands that are likely to be equipped with airstrips and military facilities, to reinforce Beijing’s claims to territorial waters thousands of miles from the Chinese mainland....................
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