China’s Defense Ministry announced that China has invited Russian troops to march in a parade in September commemorating the end of World War II.
The invitation came after China’s President Xi Jinping attended a parade in Moscow on May 9 marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Western leaders boycotted the Moscow parade in response to Russia'a alleged involvement of Ukraine crisis and annexation of Crimea.
Fan Changlong, deputy chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu that China "warmly welcomes Russian military leaders and army formations" to take part in the September events in Beijing, Reuters reported.
The Chinese Defense Ministry said Xi’s appearance at the Moscow commemorations “pushed the China-Russia all-round strategic partnership relationship to a new level."
A column of Chinese troops also took part in the events.
The Beijing parade will be Xi's first since he took over as Communist Party leader in 2012 and as state president in early 2013. China has not disclosed its invitation plans but it is expected that representatives from the countries that fought with China during the war will be invited to the parade.
Besides the leaders of major participants, China will also invite those of other countries in the region, the ministry said.
The events, when they were first announced, are considered to aim at Japan. Sino-Japan relations have long been poisoned by what China sees as Japan's failure to atone for its occupation of parts of the country before and during the war, and Beijing rarely misses an opportunity to remind its people and the world of this.
In the last two years, ties have also deteriorated sharply because of a dispute over a chain of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, though Chinese and Japanese leaders met last year in the capital, Beijing, to try to reset relations.