China Reveals Guest List for Big Military Parade
BEIJING—Thirty countries will send senior leaders to China’s World War II Victory Day parade, Beijing said, but the guest list doesn’t include major Western leaders or North Korean supremo Kim Jong Un.
Many Western nations have been reluctant to send their leaders or troops out of concern China will use the Sept. 3 parade to show off its military firepower and to discredit Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Some leaders of the past will show up, though, senior Chinese officials told a news conference Tuesday: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama.
Several Western countries will send government ministers, China’s vice foreign minister Zhang Ming told the news conference, while others, including the U.S., will be represented by their diplomatic envoys in Beijing.
The U.S. Embassy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Abe won’t attend the parade or visit Beijing around the time of the parade, a Japanese government spokesman said Monday. Mr. Murayama, who as prime minister in 1995 delivered an apology for Japan’s World War II aggression, has accused Mr. Abe of trying to go back on past government statements.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye will attend the parade along with military observers, while North Korea will be represented by Choe Ryong Hae, secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party, Mr. Zhang said.
Pakistan, Egypt and Cuba will be among the 11 countries sending 75-member military teams to take part in the parade, while six other nations will send smaller teams of about seven each, said Qu Rui, deputy operations chief for the Chinese military’s general staff.