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New Chinese-made warships to be displayed at maritime parade
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16:46, March 18, 2009

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Rear Admiral Zhang Deshun, deputy chief of staff of the Navy of the People's Liberation Army, said during interviews that the navy will hold a ceremonial event with the theme "Harmonious Sea." The most important element of the event is the invitation to the navies of other countries to visit China. Current information shows that there will be scores of naval vessels from dozens of countries attending the ceremony and participating in the maritime parade organized by the Chinese Navy.

Zhang said that according to presently available information, countries including the US and Russia are likely to dispatch naval vessels to China. As to which warships China will arrange for the parade, Zhang said, "They will be mainly new Chinese-made warships."

Asked what form the ceremonial event will take, Zhang said, "They will mainly be military reviews taking place at sea and on wharfs, because we feel that as well as being traditional, these are the best ways to display the navy and cheer up the spirits of the navies and people worldwide." He added that in addition to the naval parade, there will be various celebratory activities.

These are to include themed forums sponsored by the Chinese Navy, cultural exchanges with naval characteristics, as well as mutual visits and social events between the naval officers and soldiers of each country, such as marine balls and cocktail parties held on deck.

Talking about the goal of the maritime parade, Zhang specifically pointed out that it is hoped this ceremony will raise the Chinese people's awareness of maritime rights and interests, as well as soliciting public support for the development of the Navy.

Maritime parades are a traditional ceremony for navies and organizing large-scale military reviews at sea is a common practice among naval powers. Last October, the Korean Navy held the "International Fleet Review" off the port of Busan to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the nation and its navy. The US and China both sent warships to attend its ceremony.

Li Jie, research fellow at the Military Research Institute of the Chinese Navy, said that New China has previously held three naval parade ceremonies. The first time was in 1957 when Premier Zhou Enlai, entrusted by Chairman Mao Zedong, inspected officers and soldiers at the Qingdao base off the port of Qingdao. Following reform and opening-up, China has held two military reviews at sea in 1995 and 2005, after the joint military drills of China and Russia.

By people's Daily Online

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