>> Chinese President Xi Jinping told the country's military to transform itself into an elite force on Sunday as he oversaw a huge military parade at a remote base in northern China. Marking the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army. China's armed forces, the world's largest are in the midst of an ambitious modernization program.
It includes investment in new technology and equipment as well as cuts to troop numbers. Celebrations saw flybys of advanced new jets at a mass rally of 12,000 troops. Xi Jinping, who oversees the PLA urged soldiers to keep the military strong.>> You must resolutely maintain the principles of a politically overseen military, a reformed and stronger military, a new scientific military and a military governed by law.
And all around improved the level of our national defense and military modernization.>> It was the first time China has marked Army Day, which formally falls on August 1st, with a military parade, since the Communist Revolution in 1949. According to state news agency Xinhua, China has not fought a war in decades, and the government insists it has no hostile intent.
But that it simply needs the ability to properly defend what is now the world's second largest economy. However, China has rattled nerves around Asia and globally. It's increasingly assertive stance in the East and South China seas, causing concern. Some of the military reforms have also been controversial at home.
Sources with ties to the military say Xi's 2015 decision to cut 300,000 troops has caused unease within the ranks.>>