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Pacific China Marks 60 Years With Spectacle Of Power


Apr 4, 2005
China marks 60 years with spectacle of power

China’s leaders and audience wait on the Tiananmen Gate ahead of today’s anniversary parade. — Reuters pic

BEIJING, Oct 1 — China’s capital began to celebrate the country’s ascendance with a show of goose-stepping troops, gaudy floats and nuclear-capable missiles today, 60 years after Mao Zedong proclaimed its embrace of communism. Thousands of police and troops cleared central Beijing of all passers-by before the anniversary parade for the birth of the People’s Republic of China on Oct 1, 1949.
Tiananmen Square has become a high-tech stage to display the ruling Communist Party’s achievements before invited guests.
Troops started celebrations by firing cannons, marching down red carpet on the Square and raising the red national flag, watched on by President Hu Jintao wearing a slate grey “Mao” suit, who stood with other Communist Party leaders on the “Gate of Heavenly Peace.”
Hu then descended and began to inspect rows of soldiers and tanks, riding past them in a black limousine and saying repeatedly, “Hello comrades, hard-working comrades!”
The parade of 8,000 picture-perfect soldiers, tanks and missiles, 60 elaborate floats, and 100,000 well-drilled civilians will be a proud moment for many Chinese citizens, watching the spectacle across the country on television.
The Xinhua news agency said the country’s “newest model of intercontinental nuclear-capable missiles” will be on show.
“I’m sure it will be a great spectacle,” said Liu Qingyuan, a 40-year-old vegetable seller listening to a radio broadcast about the parade preparations on her radio on a Beijing street.
“I am very excited about it, although I can’t go and see it.”
President Hu Jintao also wants the day of extraordinary spectacle and security to make the case that its formula of one-party rule and rapid growth remains the right one for hauling the world’s third-biggest economy into prosperity, ruling 1.3 billion people and elevating China into a superpower.
Paramilitary policemen stand in front of a screen showing Hu Jintao. — Reuters pic

The soldiers goose-stepping past Tiananmen Square at exactly 116 steps a minute will carry the message that this Party knows how to run a show — and a huge, restive country. “From desperate poverty to the world’s third biggest economy, from not having enough to eat and wear to general prosperity ... China has never been as strong,” said an editorial in the official People’s Daily.
Before the parade, the displays were trundled into place on the eastern edge of central Beijing.
They included a farm produce float with two model cows; one showing China’s space programme with a lunar orbiter; and a Beijing Olympic Games display including a model of the Bird’s Nest stadium.
But the display of power will be a marching embodiment of a paradox of present-day China — a government that claims it has never been stronger and closer to its people, yet appears afraid of even small incidents that

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Jul 18, 2009
Dharmashtere Australiashtre
Must say I have got some respect for the Chinese. Despite the odds, they have turned their country around. I think at the moment China's system is close to the best it can be for a one party state.

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