Thursday, October 1, 2009

The PRC Turns 60

China 'celebrates' 60 years of communist rule today:

President Hu Jintao inspected China's defense forces in Beijing on Thursday, as the country held celebrations to mark the 60th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

About 200,000 soldiers and civilians -- from veterans and athletes to space heroes and young people -- gathered in Tiananmen Square for the National Day military and mass parade showcasing achievements of the last 60 years, Xinhua reported.

The packed square resembled a carnival as colorful crowds marched, cheered and waved. A 60-cannon salute rang out as the nation's flag swept over the square.

The army showed off its latest weapons, which officials touted as made in China. Weapons on display included China's new generation of tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite communication devices, Xinhua said.

More than 150 fighter jets, bombers, helicopters and other aircraft were to fly over the square, including a fly-past by China's first batch of female fighter pilots, state-run media said.

A 1,300-member military band were also to make an appearance, according to Xinhua.

China's history is rather unique in the world. Now a manufacturing and economic behemoth, China is a very different place from the one Mao declared 60 years ago. One could even question whether China today is truly "communist", given the amount of business enterprise going on. But the evolution over the past 60 years has been bloody and brutal, and the regime is still repressive.
History is prone to taking strange turns, and the history of relations between the PRC and the USA is a story with many twists. From the cold war and the Korean war, to Nixon's opening of relations (one of the few good things Nixon ever did), to Tiananmen Square, to their current status as America's underwriters.
Of course, from a historical perspective, 60 years is a very short time for the Chinese. Compared to some of the Dynasties, the Communist regime is just a pup.
additional story: China 60 years on: From Mao to today

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