With Abe’s statement on the 70th anniversary of World War II in the books, those interested in Asia’s “history wars” are turning their focus to the next big event: China’s commemoration of the anniversary of the end of the war, which falls on September 3. The highlight of those celebrations will be a major military parade in Beijing, the first time China has held such a parade to celebrate the end of the war.
Ever since China’s Ministry of Defense announced that the parade would be an international one, with soldiers from other countries invited to participate, the world has wondered which countries will take part. Russia’s Victory Day parade on May 9 featured troops from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, Mongolia, and Serbia. China will be hoping to at least match that tally. China’s Ministry of Defense confirmed in June that Russia and Mongolia would be sending troops to take part in China’s parade.
On August 17, China Military Online reported that Kazakh and Russian troops are headed for Beijing, where they will “participate in the joint training for China’s V-Day military parade on September 3.” Kazakhstan reportedly sent a 100-member honor guard, representing “the three services of Kazakhstan’s armed forces,” to participate. Russia, meanwhile, sent 85 troops from its 154th Preobrazhensky Independent Commandant’s Regiment.
China Daily said that troops from from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan arrived in Beijing on August 16, and that Mongolia plans to send 75 soldiers to take part in the parade.
Meanwhile, India Today reported that China had asked India to send 75 troops to take part in the parade, but that New Delhi was concerned about sending the wrong message to Japan. The Deccan Herald reported that India was leaning toward not sending any troops, and sending a lower-level delegation to China than it had to Moscow’s parade on May 9.
China Daily also reported that the leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states — Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, and Uzbek President Islam Karimov will attend the parade. Other leaders, including South Korean President Park Geun-hye, remain undecided. There are reports that the United States has pressured Park and other allies not to attend.
South Korea is reportedly also considering sending an honor guard to march in the parade.