With swarms of fighter jets and helicopters flying overhead, some 12,000 troops marched through the center of Beijing as China marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with its biggest ever display of military might, according to the BBC.
Presiding over the extravaganza on Thursday, President Xi Jinping, the country's most powerful leader in decades, said that China would remain committed to "the path of peaceful development" and unexpectedly pledged to cut 300,000 troops from its 2.3-million strong military.
The parade was the first since Xi came to power in 2012 -- but it was largely shunned by Western leaders, including China's former wartime allies, the United States and UK.
Hundreds of ballistic missiles, tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, drones and other military equipment were paraded past the gathered leaders, veterans and guests.
To cap the celebration, some 200 fighter jets took to the skies and 70,000 doves and balloons were released above Tiananmen Square.
Among the 12,000 troops were contingents from Russia, Pakistan and 15 other countries.