BEIJING (AP) — China’s Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary in power with a parade Tuesday showcasing the country’s economic growth and newest weapons.
The nationally televised event opened with a military honor guard carrying the Chinese flag through Tiananmen Square, the country’s symbolic political heart, before thousands of spectators who waved flags. Artillery guns fired a salute.
President Xi Jinping, wearing a gray Mao jacket, and other Chinese leaders, including former Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, watched from atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace at the square’s north end.
The event marks the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 1949, announcement of the founding of the People’s Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war.
The parade follows Xi’s promise to allow Hong Kong to manage its own affairs despite anti-government protests that have embarrassed the ruling party ahead of the year’s highest-profile propaganda event.
The parade through central Beijing is due to include 15,000 troops and more than 160 aircraft.
Chinese news reports say it might include a new long-range nuclear-armed missile and a supersonic drone aircraft. Military spokespeople have declined to give details.