Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New China's 60th Anniversary

Rivaling last years extraordinary preparations for the Olympics, Beijing has once again set itself to guarantee a celebration of massive proportions for National Day, this October 1st. It also marks the beginning of the Fall Holiday, and this year is special because it commemorates the 60th Anniversary of New China, in 1949. They've been practicing the parade and fireworks for a few weeks now, sometimes at strange hours.

This whole Anniversary madness has had some unpleasant side-effects.
  • The subway, which i use everyday, has been closed a few times.
  • Traffic is routed away from the center of the city, especially around Tian'anmen Square and surrounding streets.
  • Tanks have been rolling down the streets. The first time was about 2am on a Friday night. It woke Therese up.
  • Security has been heightened everywhere.
  • Undercover police are checking passports of foreigners at random. Hasn't happened to me yet, but it's only a matter of time.
  • Additional roadblocks and checkpoints entering the city, which makes my vendor visits just that much longer.
The parade itself should be pretty cool, although it's completely closed to the general public. Its purpose is to display the awesome power of China's army to the world, and the parade will be televised live on 10/1. However, there are a fortunate few who live in the Tian'anmen area AND have connections with someone in the parade. They have been able to catch a glimpse of the dress rehearsals. I happen to know two of those fortunate people.

The images i'm posting here are from them and would, in all likelihood, get my blog banned within China, if it wasn't already. I don't really care.

That last one is a picture i took out the window of our company van while driving to Tianjin. Closer inspection shows us these fighter planes are locked and loaded.



1 comment:

Liz said...

lol, you don't have to worry about that. all of blogger/blogspot is already banned :P