China's military parade was a massive display of political weakness

China has a big army. But does it have any friends?

China's military parade.
(Image credit: REUTERS/Andy Wong/Pool)

Yesterday, in the lead-up to China's parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, President Xi Jinping welcomed foreign dignitaries and leaders from around the world who had traveled to Beijing. One by one, each walked the red carpet and shook hands with Xi and his wife.

The odd thing about the procession was that very few of the dignitaries were actually notable. Among others who made the trip were the president of Belarus, Vice Marshal Choe Ryong Hae of North Korea, Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, and President Mamnoon Hussain of Pakistan. And, of course, Vladimir Putin of Russia.

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