Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a multinational parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s navy with a call for nations not to threaten to use force against each other. Nearly 20 warships from about a dozen countries – including Australia, Thailand, Singapore and Japan – are taking part in the parade with 32 Chinese vessels led by China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in the Yellow Sea off eastern China’s Shandong province. Addressing foreign naval officers in the port city of Qingdao on Tuesday, Xi urged maritime forces around the world to work together to promote dialogue and maintain peace at sea. “Nations should use consultations to resolve matters, and should not easily resort to force or threats of force,” said Xi, who will inspect the vessels in the parade. “Nations should consult on an equal basis, improve crisis management mechanisms, step up regional security cooperation and push for proper settlement of maritime disputes.” The parade is taking place as China is locked in maritime disputes with many of its neighbours, particularly those in Southeast Asia with competing claims over the South China Sea. How China’s PLA Navy could close a perception gap in the South China Sea But Chinese officials said the large number of nations taking part in the celebration reflected China’s willingness to work with other countries to help ensure global stability. “The world is facing more challenges, and no country is able to deal with all the threats alone,” Vice-Admiral Shen Jinlong, the commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, said on Monday night. “The Chinese navy is willing to work with its foreign counterparts to cope with maritime security problems and challenges.” Shen said 61 countries sent naval delegates to this year’s celebration, compared with 29 a decade ago for the PLA Navy’s 60th anniversary. With the Liaoning’s sister ship, the Type 001A, not expected to take part in the parade, military analysts said the carrier’s “bodyguard” vessel, the Type 055 destroyer, would be the focus of attention at the event. With a full displacement of more than 12,000 tonnes, the Type 055 is the biggest guided-missile destroyer in Asia. It was designed to guard China’s aircraft carriers and meet the navy’s demand for modern warships. Built entirely in China, the Type 055 is believed to be the world’s second most powerful vessel of its kind after the US Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer. But according to a US defence department’s annual report on the Chinese military, the Type 055 may be more powerful than previously thought. The US report lists the ship as a “cruiser”, considered to be the largest and most powerful surface combatant after an aircraft carrier. Beijing will also showcase the Type 071 amphibious assault ship, the Type 094 nuclear-powered submarine and other advanced strategic nuclear submarines. Japan was not invited to the 60th anniversary parade in 2009. This time, however, Tokyo sent its Suzutsuki destroyer to take part. Singapore’s representative is the RSS Stalwart, one of the largest ships in its navy. Russia has sent three warships, including an Admiral Gorshkov frigate, a rescue tug and a support ship. India’s navy sent the INS Kolkata, a stealth guided-missile destroyer. China’s new aircraft carrier, US expected to miss navy’s fleet review The PLA Navy will showcase its new generation active warships but hold off on displaying all its cutting-edge weapons to signal that China is not only combat-ready but also peaceable, according to military insiders. Other Chinese naval warships under development are the more advanced 075 amphibious warship and Type 096 submarine that is able to carry the new generation carrier-killer, JL-3.