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Thursday, October 15, 2009

People's Republic of China marks 60th anniversary with grand parade and celebration

BEIJING — The colorful military parade held on China's 60th anniversary of communist rule Thursday was a show of strength by a nation that has rarely been more confident, analysts say.

China used the celebration to showcase its first military parade in a decade with an arsenal of fighter jets, tanks, ballistic missiles and armored personnel carriers. The choreographed display included 100,000 marchers, 80,000 children, 8,000 military servicemembers and 151 planes.

President Hu Jintao, who is also head of the military and ruling Communist Party, told the watching nation that the Chinese people were "full of confidence" about the future.

"Today, a socialist China geared to modernization, the world and the future has stood rock-firm in the east of the world," he said.

After the parade, a pageant highlighted China's dramatic achievements in recent years. Floats depicted sending men into space and the country's transportation network that will carry 565 million people over the next eight days of the public holiday, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

The celebration marks the day in 1949 when Chairman Mao Zedong's revolution overthrew Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists, establishing the People's Republic of China and one-party communist rule. In the decades since, the nation has grown into the world's third-largest economy and a global power.

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