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Russian ambassador lauds PLA's May show in Moscow, expects to return favor in September
Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov told China Daily on Saturday that a show by Russian soldiers in September in the planned Tian'anmen Square parade will have "a surprise".
Denisov praised a Chinese honor guard's May show in Moscow's Red Square.
Beijing said earlier this year that the Russian army will be welcomed at the September commemorative events marking the 70th anniversary of China's victory inWorldWar II and the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45).
Although details of the Russian armed forces that will attend the Beijing parade are still unavailable, the envoy said in an interview that "the Russian unit will march as well as the Chinese did in Moscow in May".
Several countries, including Russia, will "dispatch personnel to participate in and watch the military parade", Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in late June.
Mongolian Ambassador to China Tsedenjav Sukhbaatar also confirmed the participation of the Mongolian army.
On May 9, the honor guard from the People's Liberation Army took part in the Moscow parade marking the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany.
"As everybody acknowledged, they were the best among the foreign participants in the military parade," Denisov said of the PLA.
"It is not just a common goal. It is amatter of long time preparation— of training. And everyone understands that it matters. So the earlier the training process starts, the better for the performance,” he said.
"So we are waiting and expecting a kind of surprise," he said.
As China's military contingent rehearsed for the May parade inMoscow, a short video went viral in China's cyberspace.
The Chinese contingent, after finishing one rehearsal, sang a famous Russian song, Katyusha, in the Russian language while leaving, followed by thunderous applause from Russian residents standing on both sides of the road.
The ambassador said the Chinese soldiers also impressed him. "When I speak about 'surprise', I mean these kind of things. It was a surprise."
He noted that Katyusha is also popular in China. "We like it," he said.
The exchange of parades between China and Russia serves as a display of joint commitment to maintaining peace, Denisov said.
"It's just to demonstrate preparedness for keeping peace, maintaining peace and stability. If you want these, you need to have a well-trained army, and a parade is a group formed to show preparedness.
"Seventy years is a long time. ... And in these days, for the young generation, we need to preserve. We need to try to keep adherence to the truth, to the facts, not just the kind of deliberations and allegations that lie far from what has really happened in history."
Denisov also said it is a good opportunity to remind people that "war is inappropriate and unacceptable. Let me say that this is the key objective".
President Xi Jinping viewed the May parade in Moscow, and he met and presented awards to some former Russian soldiers who fought in World War II.
The ambassador said he wants to pay tribute to the Chinese leader because Xi made time to meet the veterans despite his tight schedule while visiting Moscow. "It was a very touching ceremony," he said.
Since a number of commemorative events will take place on days around Sept 3 around China, he said, "probably veterans of both sides will take part in these meetings".