China parade 70th anniversary national day
A Chinese military parade in 2015 (Image: Kremlin)

The 70th anniversary of the founding of modern China passed with an impressive (i.e. terrifying) old-school military parade before the balcony on which Mao appeared in 1949. The spectacle was no doubt intended for the world. But it was also tilted more than a little at Donald Trump, the would-be strongman who had insisted on a July 4 parade, and is now facing impeachment -- or, to put it in Mandarin, a purging.

This was the moment that China announced to the world that it could no longer be taken merely as an economic powerhouse under the thumb of US unipolar dominance, but as an emerging global military power in its own right; switching to a faster track of arms production and eventual parity.