Today, China unveiled its “carrier killer” at its Victory Day Parade - a powerful ballistic missile the world has been awaiting see for the last four years.
Called the Dongfeng (East Wind) 21-D, the weapon is one of the most advanced ever created by the country, and according to experts who spoke to the FT, it has a range of between 900km and 1,500km while travelling at three times the speed of sound.
Live: Dongfeng-21D: China’s anti-ship ballistic missile known as “carrier killer” pic.twitter.com/Yqy9VZSwrC
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) September 3, 2015
It was the first ever public presentation, and it was just as huge as anyone expected. Very little had been said about it since Beijing first confirmed its creation in 2011.
Shao Yongling, a colonel from the People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Command College, told the state-owned Global Times the DF-21D was a sign of "China's greater confidence in its military strength … and [projects an image] of a responsible world power”.
Today's Victory Day parade marked the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender to China in World War II, and it was the first time the occasion was celebrated by China in this way. The event itself has sparked some controversy, with Japan expressing “strong displeasure” that representatives of the UN are attending an event that celebrates their defeat.
But it is the perfect opportunity for China to show off its military might, and as such it put on display almost its entire arsenal of weapons, both old and new.
Around 12,000 troops, 500 armoured vehicles, conventional and nuclear weapons and 200 aircraft made appearance. Drones, command and control systems and seven types of ballistic missiles were also paraded.
Around 30 world leaders were present at the event, but Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama declined invitations.