Beijing: China's defence minister has now openly stated what many have been pointing out for a long time – that its military capabilities are now at par with the most advanced nations.
In comments published on Monday on the defence ministry's web site, minister Liang Guang Lie said the military now possesses most of the sophisticated weapon systems found in the arsenals of developed Western nations.
According to Lie, many of China's systems, including the J-10 fighter jet, latest-generation tanks, navy destroyers, and cruise and intercontinental ballistic missiles, match, or are close to matching, the capabilities of those in the West.
''This is an extraordinary achievement that speaks to the level of our military's modernization and the huge change in our country's technological strength,'' Liang said.
The minister's remarks come ahead of the country's biggest military parade in over a decade, scheduled for the 1 Oct on National Day. That event will showcase much of the country's most advanced equipment, the outcome of nearly two decades of annual double digit percentage increases in the defence budget.
According to Liang, the parade would ''display the image of a mighty force, a civilized force, a victorious force.''