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Much of the military equipment on show is being displayed for the first time

China is holding a lavish parade in Beijing to mark the defeat of Japan in World War Two, showcasing its military might on an unprecedented scale.

President Xi Jinping in his opening speech paid tribute to “the Chinese people who unwaveringly fought hard and defeated aggression” from Japan.

He also said the People’s Liberation Army would be reduced by 300,000 personnel, but gave no time frame. China’s growing military power is being keenly watched amid regional tensions.

Some 12,000 troops and 200 aircraft, as well as tanks and missiles, are on display in Tiananmen Square. More than 80% of the machinery on display is being shown in public for the first time, state media has said.

Mr Xi, who is also commander of the armed forces, is centre stage at the proceedings along with more than 30 foreign government officials and heads of state. (BBC)