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1949: Highlight of the PRC founding ceremony
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The CPPCC Preparatory Meeting summoned in June 1949 decided to hold a military parade at the PRC founding ceremony. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) attached the greatest importance to this parade and established a preparatory committee for the PRC founding ceremony. Zhou Enlai was the committee director, Zhu De was the parade commander, Nie Rongzhen was the parade commander-in-chief, and Yang Chengwu, vice-commander of the North China Military Area Command, and Tang Yanjie, chief of staff, were the director and vice-director of the parade commanding office respectively.

Because it was their first large-scale military parade, the comrades in charge of its organization had no experience and felt tremendous pressures. Yang and Tang personally led people to spend a great deal of energy in referring to historical Chinese and foreign data, and consulted many people. Liu Bocheng knew something about military parades because he had once studied in the Soviet Union and had personally seen a military parade in the Red Square in Moscow. He described to Yang the details and important matters relating to the parade, saying "The parade is simply a type of etiquette with special contents; it is a form. We can achieve our goals by successfully undertaking this form." Chen Yi was outspoken, stating bluntly, "There is no difficulty in organizing the parade, it is no big deal. We have already won many battles, is it possible that we cannot prepare a military parade well? It is just about marching, is it not? We will display our military prestige to the Chinese people through marching and will let them know that this is the army of the New China". The speech by these two marshals showed a clear direction for the parade preparations.

The parade's commanding office extensively solicited opinions and researched for a long time before carefully formulating a plan for the military parade ceremony, fully considering and arranging all the details such as choosing and organizing the troops to be inspected, the parade procedures, the parade ceremonial music and the pre-review training. The CPC Central Committee approved this plan which was essentially followed in the parade at the PRC founding ceremony.

(China.org.cn, CCTV August 13, 2009)

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