• The PGZ-07 anti-aircraft vehicle is one of the new military assets showcased in the parade.

The PGZ-07 anti-aircraft vehicle is one of the new military assets showcased in the parade. (Photo : Xinhua)

Aside from new aircraft and ballistic missiles, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has also demonstrated its new assault fighting vehicles during a military parade on Thursday, Sept. 3, that marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory against Japan in World War II.

Among the fighting vehicles showcased to the public for the first are the PGZ-07 self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles, according to the Global Times. Equipped with a pair of 35mm cannons, the PGZ-07 is designed to attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles. The vehicle's cannons can also be loaded with different types of munitions, including high explosive incendiary, armor piercing, and target practice tracer rounds.

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The parade also saw the debut of a new type of the ZBD-07 8x8 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle, which is fitted with up to eight HJ-10 anti-tank missiles that can destroy targets up to 10km away.

The ZBD-07 can serve the PLA ground forces as a "sniper" for enemy tanks, according to DefenseWorld.net.

Other weapons systems displayed in the parade include the latest version of the T99 main battle tank, the Dongfeng-21D anti-ship missile, and DF-26 intermediate range ballistic missile dubbed the "Guam killer" in reference to the U.S. base in the western Pacific.

The parade indicates how much the PLA has invested in developing new weapons capable of countering U.S. aircraft carriers and ships that are capable of sailing close to Chinese waters, the DefenseWorld.net said in its report.

The PLA's showcase of its new military assets follows the country's long-mooted military plans, which include spending more money on advanced weapons for the navy and air force and reducing troop levels.

In his speech prior to the parade on Thursday, President Xi Jinping announced that he would cut down troop levels by 300,000, nearly 13 percent of China's 2.3-million-strong army.

"Prejudice and discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and pain," Xi said on a rostrum overlooking Tiananmen Square. "China will always uphold the path of peaceful development."