President reviews joint parade at sea marking Navy's birthday

By Zhao Lei onboard the CNS Qijiguang | ( China Daily)| Updated : 2019-04-24

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President Xi Jinping reviewed a grand joint sea parade in waters near Qingdao, Shandong province, on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

Onboard the CNS Xining, a Type 052D guided missile destroyer, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, ordered the commencement of the multinational naval parade at 2:30 pm. He was accompanied by top commanders of the PLA and heads of foreign naval delegations.

Thirty-two PLA Navy vessels sailed in six groups, and 39 PLA Navy warplanes flew in 10 formations.


Navy warship Nanchang (left) sails in the parade. Xu Jingxing / China Daily; a new type of Navy nuclear submarine helps lead the way. Ju Zhenhua / Xinhua

The vessels sounded their horns and officers and sailors stood in ceremonial formation, saluting Xi as they passed by.

"I salute you, comrades," Xi called out to the officers and sailors.

"Hail to you, chairman," they replied.

Xi alternated the greeting with, "Comrades, thanks for your hard work," to which the officers and sailors replied, "Serve the people".

Leading the Chinese fleet were two of the Navy's nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. They were followed by two nuclear-powered attack submarines and four conventionally powered attack submarines.

The first of the surface vessels was the CNS Nanchang, the first missile destroyer in the Navy with a displacement of more than 10,000 metric tons. This Type 055 class ship is equipped with new types of air defense, missile defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, and is widely considered to be one of the most advanced and mightiest destroyers in the world.

The Nanchang was making its first public appearance.

The last Chinese ship to sail in front of Xi was the CNS Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier. It has been in service with the Navy for nearly seven years and has fulfilled several long-range patrol operations and live-fire exercises.

Xi reviewed the parade from aboard the Xining, also a modern warship and the first Type 052D guided missile destroyer in the North Sea Fleet. It is capable of conducting air defense, anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack operations. Its class was the most powerful warship in the PLA Navy before the Type 055.

Following the PLA Navy units were 18 ships from 13 foreign navies including those from Russia, India and Australia. They sailed in sequence according to their role in naval operations and their displacement.

The PLA Navy was founded on April 23, 1949, in Baimamiao township, Jiangsu province. In 1989, April 23 was designated as the day the Navy was founded.

To celebrate its 70th birthday, the PLA Navy made plans for a host of multinational naval activities with the naval parade as the climax. Other events such as high-level symposiums and public tours of ships will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.

Naval delegations from more than 60 countries are taking part.