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Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews troops in Inner Mongolia on July 30. (Xinhua/Kyodo).

Xi flexes military muscle in quest to follow Mao

But a close aide is hit by 'friendly fire,' giving political foes more ammunition

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a massive military parade for the second time in just two years recently, and the reason is no secret: to go down in history as a national leader on a par with Mao Zedong.

By demonstrating his full control of the military, the Chinese leader aims to further consolidate his power ahead of the most important political event in five years, the Communist Party congress. It is at that gathering, where the top leadership will likely be reshuffled, that his ambitions will be approved or thwarted.

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