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China mobilizes army for National Day parade
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China's top military command has sent down an instruction to troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) selected for an unprecedented dress parade on National Day later this year.

The parade, to be held on Oct. 1 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, will involve more arms and weapons than all previous parades, said the instruction issued by the Central Military Commission on Tuesday.

The instruction said that the parade, to be the highest level of its kind, will showcase the PLA's first-class organization, weapons systems, training results and "spiritual outlook."

With less than eight months left for preparation and training, which is a shorter interval than previous parades, the Central Military Commission urged the chosen troops to "fully understand the historical and realistic significance" of the dress parade to be viewed by Hu Jintao, chairman of the Central Military Commission.

According to an announcement made by the Ministry of Defense on Jan. 20, the parade would be a "warm but frugal and cost-effective" show of China's most sophisticated weapon systems.

Preparations will include rigorous training for a synchronized march along Chang'an Avenue -- the main east-west thoroughfare in Beijing -- and across Tian'anmen Square, a prominent symbol from which late Chairman Mao Zedong declared the founding of the PRC on Oct. 1, 1949.

The instruction revealed that the troops will be selected from among the PLA's seven military commands, all services, military universities and forces under the central military authority.

Although it did not release further details about the troops or the equipment to be shown, the instruction confirmed that the parade will involve units with heroic traditions as well as units and individuals that have fulfilled significant military tasks.

The parade will showcase new weapons of the Navy, Air Force and the Second Artillery Corps, it said.

To demonstrate the integrity of China's armed forces, the parade will introduce formations consisting of weapon systems used by the Chinese People's Armed Police Force, the instruction said.

The instruction said the parade will promote national pride and self-confidence amid economic hard times.

"As the international financial crisis is still spreading and there are still some critical problems in the domestic economy as well as many uncertainties in international society, holding such a parade will significantly increase the people's national pride and self-confidence," it said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2009)

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