Chinese state-run media released Tuesday (link in Chinese) a list of the 30 world leaders confirmed to be attending its massive World War Two victory parade, otherwise known as “Commemoration of 70th Anniversary of Victory of Chinese People’s Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World Anti-Fascist War.”
Unlike that title, the list is pretty unimpressive.
There has been a lot of speculation about which heads of state would actually show up. Will Japan’s Shinzo Abe brave domestic opposition in a show of good faith? How about Western leaders, like invitee Tony Blair? Or countries, like South Korea, that were allies in the war but are now worried that the parade is more about nationalist showboating than “anti-fascist victory.”
The list does include South Korean president Park Geun-hye, as well as Russia’s Vladimir Putin. But other than those two, there is not much in the name of geopolitical or diplomatic clout. No Western countries will be sending a head of state: Poland is sending a head legislator while Argentina and Cuba will be represented by vice presidents. Also missing are Asian neighbors like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, all of which were invited.
Here’s the full list of attendees:
|Abdelkader Bensalah||Algeria||Chair of the Council of the Nation|
|Amado Boudou||Argentina||Vice President|
|Dragan Čović||Bosnia-Herzegovina||Chair of the Presidency|
|Miguel Díaz-Canel||Cuba||Vice President|
|Miloš Zeman||Czech Republic||President|
|Joseph Kabila||DR Congo||President|
|Taur Matan Ruak||East Timor||President|
|Abdel Fattah el-Sisi||Egypt||President|
|Choummaly Sayasone||Laos||General Secretary, Lao People’s Revolutionary Party|
|Choe Ryong-hae||North Korea||Vice Marshal, Politburo member|
|Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska||Poland||Chair of Sejm (lower house)|
|Jacob Zuma||South Africa||President|
|Park Geun-hye||South Korea||President|
|Prawit Wongsuwan||Thailand||Deputy chair of Thai junta|
|Sato Kilman||Vanuatu||Prime Minister|
|Trương Tấn Sang||Vietnam||President|
In addition to these 30 leaders—which comprise both heads of state and people in executive office or high legislative positions—the announcement said that 19 “high-level representatives” would be attending. It’s not clear who exactly that refers to, but the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, for example suggested that Brazil and India would be sending “special envoys” and a few western countries “foreign ministers or minister-level officials.”
But if you just look at the top-level leaders, that leaves a world map with a lot of gray.
These individuals will also join the militaries of over 10 countries—including Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mongolia, and Russia—that will take part in the pomp and circumstance.