China to unveil show of Military might, Emergence as a global superpower
China marks 70 years of Communist rule next week, with a massive military parade in Beijing anchoring celebrations of its emergence as a global superpower, despite a damaging year of trade tensions with the US and pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong.
The anniversary is meant to showcase China's extraordinary rise from the ravages of war and famine to a modern, powerful nation state whose economic and military muscle is viewed by many with increasing concern.
This stunning transformation radically altered the social and physical landscape as hundreds of millions of rural Chinese poured into booming cities to power the "factory of the world" into the globe's second largest economy.
Tuesday's military procession across Tiananmen Square will showcase the army's most advanced weaponry, including 160 aircraft, in a bid to drum up patriotic fervour and support for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), with President Xi Jinping at the centre.
But the planned narrative has been disrupted by months of unrest in Hong Kong, a painful US trade war, international criticism of human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, and soaring food prices.
Security has been ramped up ahead of the parade, with facial recognition, ID checks and searches for those entering Beijing by car, toy weapon sales banned and flying kites forbidden.
Roads have closed on weekend evenings for tanks to roll through in rehearsal. Fighter planes have roared in formation overhead.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers and students have been marching in practice, a participant telling the state-run Global Times they were given adult diapers as there was no time to take toilet breaks. -APP/AFP