China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Japan in World War II today, and what state outlet Xinhua calls the “Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression” that happened alongside it. The nation has organized a massive parade featuring an international coalition of leftist allies.
Joining the victory parade are representatives from both left-wing allied nations and those that actively opposed Japan in World War II, creating a bizarre coalition including Cuba, Venezuela, the United States, and France. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also attended, though the most high-profile guest at the event was Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Given the international nature of the event– clearly, many argue, an attempt to assert China’s identity as a global superpower– Xinhua has published a Spanish-language video explaining the history behind the victory parade and the nation’s animosity towards Japan:
Despite the ostentatious military nature of the event, President Xi announced in his speech that he would reduce the number of troops in China by 300,000.
China is holding this parade amid an economic crisis that has rattled the world and triggered a government devaluation of the yuan currency, though the festivities themselves appear to have had a calming influence on the market today. Chinese officials have blamed the United States for the nation’s economic woes, though provided no evidence or specifics behind the accusation.
Below, images and highlights from the parade Thursday morning: