Ahead of mega parade on Oct 1, missiles, tanks appear on Beijing roads
New weaponry including an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying 10 nuclear warheads, advanced tanks, new drones, and a “mysterious” underwater vehicle are set to be unveiled at the October 1 military parade meant to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of new China in Beijing.
The parade and the celebrations are being organised to mark the beginning of the Communist Party of China (CPC) rule here.
The list of new weaponry to be displayed is long and covers the sea, land, and air, as per state media reports.
During complete parade rehearsals over the weekend, Beijing residents spotted an array of weaponry: new anti-ship missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, and cruise missiles.
Fighter aircraft zoomed across the skies over Beijing on Sunday.
“During the rehearsal on Sunday morning, enthusiasts filmed warplanes including J-20 stealth fighters, Y-20 transport planes, early warning aircraft and special mission aircraft. A new bomber, the H-6N, was in the formations on Sunday,” the tabloid Global Times reported.
The government has already announced that the upcoming military parade will be the biggest ever in China.
Some advanced weapons will make their debut in the military parade, the scale of which is scheduled to be greater than the ones commemorating the 50th and 60th founding anniversary of the PRC, as well as the V-Day military parade in 2015, Cai Zhijun, deputy head of the office of the leading group for the military parade, said earlier.
The parade will not be a show of weaponry alone: Thousands of Chinese citizens mostly government workers and students will take part in the pageantry to follow the flaunting of military might at Tiananmen Square at Beijing’s centre.
More than 1,00,000 ordinary citizens will take part in the mass pageantry while about 60,000 will attend the evening gala on the same day; another 30,000 members of the public will be invited to observe the gathering and military parade.
The first full dress rehearsal for the parade and the pageantry was held last week, news website chinanews.com reported.
“Practices are certainly very tiring as they often take place at midnight. It takes a lot of time and stamina. The organisers even gave us adult diapers because we do not have time to go to the toilet during practice,” a participant told the tabloid.
Beijing is gradually preparing for a lockdown in the weeks leading to the parade.
According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the flying of kites, drones and pigeons over central Beijing has been banned for the next two weeks beginning Sunday.
Popular tourist sites including the Forbidden City, located next to the Tiananmen Square and the Wangfujing pedestrian street will be closed to the public from later this week.