Dozens of fighter jets and other warplanes soared over Beijing on Monday as China stepped up preparations for National Day, tightening security around the city with restrictions on knife sales and plans to ground flights on October 1.
The planes and helicopters flew in formation over Chang An Avenue, the major boulevard that runs east west through the city and across the top of Tiananmen Square. Some of the planes released streams of red, blue and yellow smoke as they flew low over the city in a rehearsal for the October 1 celebration to mark 60 years of communist rule.
China has tightened security in recent weeks ahead of the celebrations. In the latest move, the sale of knives has been banned at some stores including hypermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour, after two separate knife attacks near Tiananmen Square last week, according to store officials and state media.
A spokesman surnamed Wang for Wal-Mart in Beijing said police inspected the stores yesterday and asked them to remove all knives from their shelves until further notice.