Beijing prepared for massive celebrations on Thursday for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The capital was to witness a grand National Day military and mass parade as well as evening gala, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. About 200,000 soldiers and civilians — from veterans and athletes to space heroes and young people — gathered on Tiananmen Square Thursday morning for the parade aimed at showcasing achievements of the last 60 years, Xinhua reported. They included a 1,300 member military band and a fly-past by China’s first batch of female fighter pilots, Xinhua added.
Chinese President Hu Jintao was among the leaders expected to observe the parade from the Tiananmen Rostrum. Rain-dispersal rockets fired into the area in surrounding provinces and regions to induce rain before it reaches the capital in the largest weather-intervention effort since the opening ceremony of the Olympics last year, Xinhua reported.