China stringently regulates visits by foreign media to its military bases, but off late amid regional fears, it is trying to organise such visits once every year. And this year, it was the turn of its elite force, known as the The Guards of Honour of the Three Services.
The Guards of Honour of the Three Services, are an elite corps especially enlisted for their discipline, tall stature and solid foundation in politics. They are also the ones who take part in all welcome ceremonies for foreign leaders.
Speaking to reporters at the base, defence Ministry Spokesman Geng Yansheng said, "This is a good way to show the world about China's military development. The aim of this type of event is to give reporters a chance to get up close with the soldiers and allow people to understand the thinking of the People's Liberation Army."
He added, "We are proactively pushing this kind of opening up."
One of the unit's senior colonels, Liu Shixu insisted that the unit was a sign of China's peaceful intentions. He said, "The People's Liberation Honour Guard has shown people all over the world that we are a force for peace."
China has all been denying that its rising military might is for nothing else other than defensive purposes. But that has failed to quash concerns in the south-east Asian region which feels that the communist ruled country is trying to indirectly force neighbouring countries to remain subdued.