Facts & Figures: New China's 60th National Day celebration

10:18, October 01, 2009      

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China is to hold a grand celebration Thursday morning, including a massive military parade and a mass pageant, to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the People's Republic.

The anniversary marks a full cycle, six decades, in China's lunar calendar.

The military parade, the biggest show in a decade of China's military prowess, has been under media spotlight as the world is watching the rising military strength of the world's third-largest economy.

The parade, the 14th since the founding of New China, includes 56 square and echelon formations, signifying the unity and harmony among the nation's 56 ethnic groups.

Among the eye-catching formations are the debuts of the Special Forces, three-service women soldiers, unmanned surveillance aircraft, women pilots, Armed Police's armored vehicles, and military logistics equipment.

The show involves more than 8,000 soldiers from the land, naval and air force, Second Artillery Corps, Armed Police, army reserves and militia units.

The soldiers have a minimum height of 175 cm for men and 163 cm for women, and most of them were born in the 1980s and 1990s. They drilled 10 hours a day over the past six to 12 months.

Home-made advanced weaponry, including upgraded missiles, pre-warning planes, unmanned surveillance aircraft and new radar systems, will be shown.

There are also a 1,300-member military band, a 2,100-strong adult choir and a 300-strong children choir.

The military show is to be followed by a mass pageant made up of 36 formations and six performing groups involving about 100,000citizens.

It also includes 60 floats, and a background performance involving 80,000 primary and middle school students on Tian'anmen Square in the center of Beijing.

The pageant showcases the development of various fields such as agriculture, industry, transport, energy, sports, education, and population and health.

Tens of thousands of doves, symbols of peace, and 50,000 colorful balloons are to be released at the end of the grand celebration that is scheduled to last about two hours.

Source: Xinhua
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