China

China celebrates 70th founding anniversary today

MNA International Desk: China is holding a grand celebration, followed by a military parade and mass pageantry at Tian’anmen Square in Beijing today (Tuesday) on its National Day, marking the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

More than 100,000 people will take part in a mass parade to show the PRC’s unity and strength.

The parade will include people from all walks of life and all ethnic groups, like – workers, farmers, teachers, students, doctors, civil servants, and square dance lovers, representing different aspects of society.

“The mass pageantry and military parade will last for about 65 minutes,” Yu Lei, a director of China Public Diplomacy Association, told The Financial Express on Monday.

“It will showcase China’s achievements in building national defence and armed forces in the past 70 years, and also reflect outcomes of various reform initiatives of the people’s armed forces,” the official noted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will preside over the grand gathering.

He will also deliver a speech at the event, emphasising national unity, local media reported.

The military parade will involve 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 fighter jets, bombers and other aircrafts, 580 tanks and other weapons, some of which have never been publicly displayed before, according to the Ministry of Defence.

For the first time, a contingent from China’s 8,000-member UN peacekeeping standby force will participate in the programme. Some 188 military attaches from 97 countries will observe it.

“The rivals and competitors may get special messages (through the grand 70th anniversary celebration), and may make their own interpretations (of these messages),” Zhong Xin?Professor at School of Journalism and Communication of Renmin University of China, told the FE.

The competition among big powers may make the celebration so special at this stage.

However, such kind of ceremonial communication is also meant to deliver a positive message to the world that China has made great achievements in the past 70 years after overcoming numerous challenges, she also said.

This is the first large-scale PRC anniversary since launching of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by China in 2013.

“We now have more friends and co-operators from developing countries,” she added.

Beijing has been on high security alert, as the capital prepares for the big day. Huge red banners have been hung on buildings across the city.

Major streets, markets, bars and nightclubs around the place of parade were shut down on Monday. Some roads and subway stations were also reportedly closed, as was access to buildings along the parade route.

The country’s Great Firewall – an online censorship system – has also been strengthened, as it continues to place tight controls on internet access.

In mid-September, Chinese news agency Xinhua News reported that Tiananmen Square was closed to visitors for a few weekends ahead of the festivities.

The square holds a great historic and symbolic value, as the country’s founding father Mao Zedong announced founding of the PRC here 70 years ago. Besides, a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters took place here 30 years ago.

With this year’s celebrations, China officially surpasses longevity of another great communist power, the Soviet Union.

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