China marks 70 years since end of WW2 with military parade

Last updated at 08:30
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China says a large number of new weapons systems were on show at the military parade

China has held a lavish parade to mark the defeat of Japan in World War Two.

In a speech President Xi Jinping paid tribute to "the Chinese people who fought hard and defeated aggression".

The two countries have had a difficult relationship over the years, which worsened after Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China in 1937.

More than 30 foreign government officials attended the event but Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, stayed away.

Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march at the beginning of the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015Reuters
China's People's Liberation Army is the world's largest military, with 2.3 million members

During World War Two Beijing say the fighting claimed 14 million Chinese lives.

Some 12,000 troops and 200 aircraft, as well as tanks and missiles, were part of the display in Tiananmen Square marking the end of war 70 years ago.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in a car on his way to review the army, at the beginning of the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015Reuters
China's President Xi Jinping inspected the troops after his speech
Military helicopters form the number "70" above a Chinese national flag as they perform during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015Reuters
Military helicopters formed the number 70 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Asia
Military vehicles carrying shore-to-ship missiles drive past the Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015EPA
Shore-to-ship missiles were on display in the parade
Military band sing and salute at the Tiananmen Square at the beginning of the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015.Reuters
Some 12,000 military personnel and 200 aircraft took part in the huge display in Beijing
A picture released by Xinhua News Agency shows veterans saluting as they pass through Tiananmen Square during a military parade marking the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World Anti-Fascist War in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015.EPA
People's Liberation Army war veterans took part in the parade
Military aircraft perform during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015Reuters
Military aircraft performed fly-bys with colourful trails to symbolise China's bright future, television commentators said
People watch military helicopters on a pedestrian overpass outside the closed area during the military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, 3 September 2015Reuters
A large area around Tiananmen Square was blocked off for the parade, and Beijing residents gathered around the parade to watch