PRESIDENT Jiang Zemin has further stressed the need for the army to modernise to safeguard sovereignty and national unification, state-run media reported yesterday. Mr Jiang's comments came at a military parade on Friday held amid rising cross-strait tensions over Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui's new statehood claim. Mr Jiang, who also heads the Central Military Commission, said the parade would show the PLA's 'firm determination and powerful resolve to safeguard the motherland's security and reunification and to promote world peace and development', People's Daily said. Reports said Mr Jiang, in military dress, inspected army, navy, air force, armed police and reserve troops. Dozens of trucks of soldiers in dress uniforms were sent to a military airport in Tongxian, east of Beijing, for the review. Troops have been rehearsing there for the October 1 National Day parade in Beijing. The two-hour parade along Changan Avenue to Tiananmen Square, will be the capital's first major military pageant since the 35th anniversary of the People's Republic of China 15 years ago. It is expected to display some of the country's most advanced weaponry. Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao reiterated Beijing would not abandon the use of force while elements in Taiwan and the international arena tried to split Taiwan from China. Mr Zhu accused the US House of Representatives of supporting Taiwan. The Foreign Ministry and the embassy in Washington had made 'representations' to the US over an amendment to a State Department Authorisation Act that urges President Bill Clinton to persuade Beijing to publicly give up its threat of using force against Taiwan, Xinhua said. Mr Zhu said the amendment sought to provide weapons to Taiwan and 'seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs'.