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China to hold military parade on founding anniversary
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The military parade in 1999, a year that marked the 40th founding anniversary of PRC. [File photo]

Preparations are underway for China's military dress parade in Tian'anmen Square on Oct. 1 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

The "solemn, enthusiastic but frugal" parade will showcase China's domestic weapons used by all branches of the armed forces, Col. Cai Huailie told a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council, or cabinet Tuesday.

The parade will also include a demonstration of the equipment of the People's Armed Police Force and Militia and Reserve Forces, said Cai, who is with the Headquarters of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army.

The 2009 parade, compared with previous ones, will showcase the military's progression from mechanization to information based. New 2007-series army uniforms and plenty of new domestic weapons will be included, said Luo Yuan, a military expert with the with the Academy of Military Sciences.

"These new features show China's national defense and military modernization buildup have been brought to a new level," Luo said.

Parades have always been considered the best way to display national strength and military might. It is also a good chance to educate people about national defense, Luo said.

"More importantly, the parade can greatly inspire military morale, no matter in wartime or peaceful periods," he added.

China has held 13 military parades through Beijing's main east-west artery, Chang'an Avenue, and across Tian'anmen, a prominent symbol of the republic.

The late Mao Zedong reviewed the nation's first military parade in the country's founding ceremony on Oct. 1, 1949. There were 10 annual parades through 1959. The ceremony was suspended until Oct. 1, 1984, when the late Deng Xiaoping inspected an all-services parade that marked the debut of China's Strategic Missile Corps.

The most recent parade took place in 1999 for the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic. Long-range ground-to-ground missiles and aerial tankers made their debut in that parade.

"The parade, as part of the country's grand celebration activities, will showcase the modernization, build-up and great success of China's military since the country launched an opening-up drive 30 years ago. It will also display our firm determination in safeguarding world peace and stability," said Cai.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2009)

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