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August 25, 2009

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Gala set for milestone National Day

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao will give a keynote speech, the military will parade and people will gather for a massive celebration in Tian'anmen Square on October 1 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the event's organizer said yesterday.

Hu will deliver his speech in the historic square in Beijing to kick off the festivities.

"The military parade on October 1, the highlight of the event, will showcase the achievements China has made in its defense sector during the past six decades and its resolution to safeguard world and regional peace and stability," said a spokesperson for the committee appointed by Beijing municipal government to orchestrate the event.

A mass pageant, to involve about 200,000 citizens and 60 floats and themed "Motherland and I Marching Together," will follow the parade.

On the night of October 1, a gala at Tian'anmen Square will feature "colorful performances and a splendid fireworks display,'' with senior Communist Party of China and government leaders present, according to the spokesperson.

In addition, an exhibition highlighting China's progress over the past 60 years will be held in the Beijing Exhibition Center near the city zoo over the last two weeks in September.

Also during that time, a grand musical, "Road to Revival," with a cast of about 3,200, will be staged at the Great Hall of the People. It will depict the past 169 years of Chinese history from the Opium War to the present.

On September 30, a reception, hosted by the State Council, or the Cabinet, will be held in the Great Hall of the People.

And major parks in Beijing will hold National Day parties from October 1 to 3.

"We will try our best to create a festive environment at an economical cost," the spokesperson said.

The National Day celebration and the Mid-Autumn Festival will be combined to create an eight-day holiday running from October 1 to 8, which will be the longest "golden week" holiday yet in China.

Police forces across China have been mobilized to ensure the celebrations proceed safely and smoothly. The anti-terror forces that safeguarded the Beijing Olympics last year are in action again as security is being enhanced ahead of the National Day. More than 7,000 police officers and militia members are on patrol in the capital.

Meanwhile, Beijing's meteorological authorities will be ready to disperse any rain clouds that threaten to interrupt the celebrations.

They reported success in using airplanes and rockets to ward off rain before the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.


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