China yesterday held a fleet parade near the port of Qingdao to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, Reuters reported. Hu Jintao presided over the parade, which included two of China’s nuclear-powered Long March ballistic missile submarines. Hu sought to allay concerns of Chinese military expansion; state media paraphrased him as saying, “China will stick unswervingly to the path of peaceful development, and will never seek hegemony now or in the future, no matter how much the country develops.” The parade comes after a minor confrontation last month between Chinese ships and a US navy vessel in the South China Sea, in an area that China considers its exclusive economic zone, and following several missions by Chinese navy ships to guard against pirate attacks on merchant vessels off the coast of Somalia.
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