Along with traditional air drones, China has also paraded its underwater vehicles. The state-sanctioned Global Times noted its appearance in rehearsals, adding: "More mysterious was an image of a large autonomous underwater vehicle. Its mission remains unknown."
This could be one of China's first undersea drones. A 2015 report from the Rand Corp. think tank said the Beijing government, relying mainly on military funding, had set up at least 15 research teams at universities and institutes to develop technology for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
Speaking on the live broadcast, a state TV commentator said the underwater drone could "dive deep under the sea" to carry out surveillance and military missiles.