Morale: We Are Big, We Are Bad, And We Are Back

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September 27, 2009: For nearly six months now, thousands of Chinese troops, and hundreds of armored vehicles, and massive missile carriers, have been practicing, outside the capital, for the October 2nd parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of communist rule. This is a much bigger show than the 50th anniversary parade. That's because "60" is a lucky number in China, and has much larger symbolic importance. Moreover, this parade will feature the largest proportion of Chinese designed and manufactured weapons ever. While most of the stuff is still obviously Russian in origin, it's all made in China. And a lot of it has been modified and upgraded by Chinese engineers.

Appearances are everything, and Google Earth has revealed the extent of the camps built, earlier this year, along an airstrip, to house most of the troops who will participate in the parade. The massive missile carriers can be seen in formation, as can the smaller armored vehicles. People living nearby report heavy vehicle activity, as the troops (in vehicles and on foot) are drilled again and again, so that their performance will be perfect. For this event, the Chinese are determined to leave nothing to chance, and to make their own luck via lots of practice.

The show is mainly for local consumption. The government has been spending lots more money on the military in the last decade, and this performance is important to convince the people that the communist rulers know how to spend the several hundred billion defense dollars (in the last decade) right. China has been a second rate (or worse) military power for several hundred years, and this parade is sort of a coming-out party, where the main message is; we are big, we are bad, and we are back.

 

 

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