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23:50 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Russian cruiser to lead foreign ships in China naval parade

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The missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of Russia's Pacific Fleet, will lead a fleet of foreign warships participating in a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China's Navy.
VLADIVOSTOK, April 22 (RIA Novosti) - The missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of Russia's Pacific Fleet, will lead a fleet of foreign warships participating in a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China's Navy.

The China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) kicked off the grand maritime ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of its navy on Monday off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao, Shandong province, the People's Daily reported.

The paper said PLA Navy Commander Adm. Wu Shengli announced the start of the four-day festivities, which would include seminars, a sampan race and a fleet review, due to take place on Thursday.

A total of 21 naval vessels from 14 other countries and delegations from 29 foreign countries will join the parade.

The PLA Navy was founded on April 23, 1949 with nine warships and 17 boats obtained when a unit of the Kuomintang's second coastal defense fleet defected to the PLA.

The Varyag is a Slava-class missile cruiser built in 1989 which has been operating in the Russian Pacific Fleet since 1990.

The fleet review will also feature Chinese nuclear-powered submarines. Xinhua cited the PLA Navy Vice Adm. Ding Yiping as saying, "It is not a secret that China has nuclear submarines, which are key to safeguarding our country's national security."