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Beijing military exhibition draws 1 million visitors in 15 days
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17:33, August 01, 2007

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More than one million people have visited the military exhibition in Beijing marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) since its opening on July 17.

"The highest number of visitors in one day reached 91,000, which was way above our expectations," said Guo Dehe, curator of the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution where the exhibition was held.

"We only predicted a daily count of 30,000 to 40,000 visitors but on the first day, more than 50,000 people visited the exhibition," Guo said.

"We never imagined people would have such a keen interest in the exhibition and we had to open all galleries to accept our visitors since we only opened half of them according to our original plan," he said.

The exhibition showcases the development of the PLA, by displaying a total of 20 pieces of advanced military weaponry and logistic outfits of the army, navy and air force, 970 pictures and 1,750 other military exhibits in a total area of 6,540 square meters.

Advanced military weaponry, including new types of ground-to-ground missiles, medium-range surface-to-air missiles, fighter aircraft and new logistic outfits are on display.

Other attractions include a punch bag pummeled by the late chairman Mao Zedong, the first national and army flags raised by the PLA Hong Kong and Macao troops and items belonging to army martyrs and heroes.

Zhang Yongsheng, a migrant worker from Henan, said "I am so proud to see so many advanced weapons on display."

"I believe our army is so strong that they can protect the country and the people," he said.

Yang Ying, a student at Shanghai International Studies University, said "I'm so lucky since the exhibition is open during my summer vacation and this is a precious opportunity to learn about our armed forces."

"I am very excited to see that our armed forces can achieve such progress," Yang said.

The exhibition, which runs from July 17 to August 20, is free of charge.

August 1 this year marks the PLA's 80th anniversary and a series of official programs are being held nationwide to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Army Day.

Source: Xinhua

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