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Hu Jintao reviews Chinese troops

Top Chinese state and military leader Hu Jintao today inspected the country's defense forces which will also stage a massive parade in Beijing in celebration of the 60th founding anniversary of New China.

A black open-roof Red Flag limousine carried Hu, state president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, eastward along Chang'an Avenue from the iconic Tian'anmen Square shortly after the celebration started at 10 am.

Tens of thousands of soldiers and militia, together with ranks of camouflaged tanks and missiles, stood along the newly widened boulevard and waited to be inspected. The whole procession stretches some three kilometers.

"Greetings, comrades!" Hu, wearing a high-collared Mao suit, saluted troops through a microphone.

"Greetings, leader!" Loudly replied the soldiers in brand new uniforms.

Hu then said "Comrades, you are working hard!" And the troops replied: "We serve the people!"

Hu's inspection of the troops, the first in the past decade, preluded a full-dress National Day military parade involving about 8,000 military personnel.

Fourteen phalanxes on feet are composed of the army, navy, air force and the Second Artillery Force of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the People's Armed Police Force and reserved force.

PLA's young and mysterious Special Forces made their debut for the inspection.

A total of 30 phalanxes in wheeled transport displayed more than 50 types of new weapon systems manufactured by China on its own, including the newest model of intercontinental nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Other cutting-edge weaponry included China's new generation of tanks, sophisticated radar, airborne early warning and control aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite communication devices. All the weapons are made in China.

More than 150 jet-fighters, bombers, helicopters and other aircraft in 12 echelons will fly over the square, packed with some 200,000 people.

The parade, the 14th since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, is set to showcase China's newest weaponry and enhanced defense strength.


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