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By Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - China put on its biggest display of military might on Thursday in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War Two, an event shunned by most Western leaders but which underscored Beijing's growing confidence in its armed forces. President Xi Jinping, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square before the parade began, offered an unexpected olive branch by saying China would cut its troop levels by 300,000. Xi gave no timeframe for the troop cut, adding China would always "walk down the path of peaceful development".
By Hideyuki Sano TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares struggled to recover on Thursday with volatility remaining high, while emerging economy and commodity-linked currencies softened as investors worried about the global repercussions of slower growth in China. Japan's Nikkei rose for the first time in four days, gaining 1.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi edge up 0.4 percent, although MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan erased early gains. Also helping to boost the market, Apple , the world's largest company by market capitalization, jumped more than 4 percent, in anticipation of its Sept 9 media event where it is expected to unveil new iPhones and potentially a new version of its Apple TV set-top box.