Chinese soldiers take part in parade training ahead of Communist Party's 70th anniversary in power (Picture: PA images).
China is expected to offer a rare look at its developing arsenal of weapons at a parade on Tuesday.
It will mark 70 years in power for the ruling Communist Party.
It is expected to include a rare look at a nuclear-armed missile that could reach the United States in 30 minutes - the Dongfeng 41.
The parade is also expected to highlight Beijing's ambition to enforce claims to Taiwan, the South China Sea and other disputed territories.
The People's Liberation Army is the world's biggest military with two million men and women in uniform and also spends the second most annually after the United States.
It is also working on fighter planes, the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarines.
Siemon Wezeman, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said:
"There are quite a lot of observers, including the US military, who say, 'This is getting close to what we do,' and they are starting to worry."
Tuesday's show will include 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of military equipment, according to spokesman for China's Ministry of National Defense, Major General Cai Zhijun.
In a January report, the US Defence Intelligence Agency said the Chinese have developed the likes of nuclear, space and cyberspace capabilities that can "reach potential adversaries across the globe".
Details of the Dongfeng 41 have not yet been released, but the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington says it may have the world's longest range at 15,000 kilometres (9,400 miles).