China celebrates 60 years of PRC’s founding

Preparations get under way in Beijing's Tiananmen Square ahead of National Day celebrations on Thursday.
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.