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Crowds Flock to See Military Show
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At least 1.2 million people have visited the ongoing exhibition to mark the 80th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to figures released yesterday.

The biggest-ever show of the country's military might, the exhibition is being held at the China People's Revolution Military Museum in Beijing and showcases the latest weaponry, technology, uniforms and equipment, as well as outlining the history of the PLA.

"This is my second visit to the exhibition. I became very confident about our national defense capacity after seeing it. I was also touched by the deeds of our soldiers, such as rescuing people caught up in floods," Zhu Yahui, a 24-year-old who works in a fitness club in Beijing, said.

Zhu was especially pleased when he successfully hit the target using a tank simulator, with a real crew helping him.

Hao Wei, a doctor at the PLA's Art Academy, was impressed with the latest weaponry.

"I have visited the museum many times since the 1960s when it opened. But the exhibits on show this time are the most modern ones."

He said it was a pity his parents, who had both served in the PLA but had passed away, could not be there to see how it has developed.

Entitled "Our Troops Toward the Sun", the exhibition spans 6,540 sq m and includes 970 photos and 1,750 military items.

A retired member of the Eighth Route Army took his 10-year-old grandson to "show him the old days".

"Good things should not be thrown away," said the man surnamed Ding.

The exhibition, which runs until August 20, receives about 90,000 visitors every day, Wang Ke, director of the ticket subcommittee, said.

He said the exhibition was free to the public and had drawn the museum's biggest crowds since 1976.

Madhav Nalapat, a professor of geopolitics and the UNESCO chairman with Manipal University in India, said he was delighted to see "thousands of Chinese people going to see the exhibition, even on early weekday mornings".

"They are not going just for entertainment or fun, but also to show their respect. I could sense a very strong bond between the PLA and the Chinese people," he said.

(China Daily August 6, 2007)

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