70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China

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70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China
The 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People's Republic of China logo.svg
GenreMilitary parade, mass pageant, music and dance gala
Date(s)1 October 2019
FrequencySelect years[A]
Location(s)Chang'an Avenue, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
Coordinates39°54′26.4″N 116°23′27.9″E / 39.907333°N 116.391083°E / 39.907333; 116.391083Coordinates: 39°54′26.4″N 116°23′27.9″E / 39.907333°N 116.391083°E / 39.907333; 116.391083
Years active72
Inaugurated1 October 1949 (1949-10-01)
Previous event60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China
Next event75th anniversary of the People's Republic of China
ParticipantsNational leaders, international organization leaders, PLA, PAP, Militia, and other formations
LeaderXi Jinping (General Secretary)
PeopleLi Keqiang (Premier and host)
Yi Xiaoguang (chief commander of the military parade)
Website70prc.cn (English version)
Celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China
201909 长安街70周年国庆花坛.jpg
Flowerbed reading "70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China" on Jianguomen Inner Street near Beijing International Hotel
Simplified Chinese庆祝中华人民共和国成立70周年活动
Traditional Chinese慶祝中華人民共和國成立70週年活動
Hanyu Pinyinqìngzhù Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó chénglì qīshí zhōunián huódòng
Literal meaningcelebrating Chinese people's republic's founding seventy anniversary live action
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese庆祝中华人民共和国成立70周年大会
Traditional Chinese慶祝中華人民共和國成立70週年大會
Hanyu Pinyinqìngzhù Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó chénglì qīshí zhōunián dàhuì
Literal meaningcelebrating Chinese people's republic's founding seventy anniversary mass gathering
Flag of the People's Republic of China

The 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China[2][3] (Chinese: 庆祝中华人民共和国成立70周年) was observed with a series of ceremonial events including a grand military parade as its spotlight to celebrate National Day of the People's Republic of China that took place on 1 October 2019 in Beijing. It was the largest military parade and mass pageant in Chinese history.[4]

The Communist Party General Secretary, President and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping, who was the guest of honour, gave the holiday address to the nation and Chinese expatriates before inspecting the formations along Chang'an Avenue.[5] Premier Li Keqiang was the master of ceremonies and General Yi Xiaoguang was the chief commander of the parade.


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had defeated the Kuomintang Party following the Chinese Civil War, which occurred intermittently between 1927 and 1950 In the aftermath of the civil war, the Kuomintang and its loyalists then retreated to the island of Taiwan, formerly a prefecture of the Qing Empire, which had been under Japanese colonial rule from 1895 to 1945.

The founding of the People's Republic of China was formally proclaimed by Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, on 1 October 1949 at 3:00 pm in Tiananmen Square in Peking (formerly Peiping), the new capital (Nanking had been the capital of the former Republic of China). The first public parade of the then new People's Liberation Army took place there, following the chairman's address of the formal foundation of the new republic. Before this, as the national anthem March of the Volunteers was played, the new national flag of the People's Republic of China was officially unveiled to the newly founded nation and hoisted for the first time during the celebrations as a 21-gun salute fired in the distance.

In its early years, the People's Republic of China was not internationally recognized as the Republic of China held its seat in the United Nations and the Security Council as the sole legitimate government of "China" by the United States and western nations. In 1971, the PRC was admitted to the United Nations and thus excluded the ROC from United Nations membership.

Since the establishment of the PRC, celebrations of varying scales occur on National Day each year. Military parades, presided over by chairman Mao Zedong, were held every year between 1949 and 1959, the first decade of the PRC. In September 1960, the Chinese leadership decided that to save funds and "be frugal", large-scale ceremonies for National Day would only be held every ten years, with a smaller-scale ceremony every five years.[1](The tradition of the yearly parade, though, would be partially revived with parades held in 1969 and 1970.) Since China's opening and reform, the most prominent National Day celebrations have taken place in 1984, 1999, and 2009 at the 35th, 50th and 60th anniversaries respectively.

The 70th national anniversary parade was the fifth major parade since Xi Jinping took power as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (China's paramount leader) and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (Commander-in-chief) in 2012, and occurred with the mass protests in Hong Kong that have been on-going since 9 June as backdrop.[6]


Preparations underway in Tiananmen Square for the National Day Parade

The official logo for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China was officially unveiled by the State Council Information Office on 3 June 2019.[7] Many celebrations throughout China and overseas Chinese communities have been planned for the year of 2019. In early September, rehearsals took place in central Beijing for the military parade. General Cai Zhijun of the Joint General Staff said in a press briefing that it will not be targeted "at any countries or districts" but rather would be "committed to safeguarding world peace and regional stability".[8] It is expected to be bigger than the parades commemorating the 50th and 60th anniversary of the PRC, as well as the 2015 China Victory Day Parade.[9]

The capital has been covered with red flags, adorning apartment compounds and neighbourhoods; banners reading "Today's China is the result of the work of Chinese people" have been draped across overpasses, and topiaries have been installed around the roads in Beijing.[10] The authorities have given out 620,000 television sets allowing those not invited to still be able to watch the festivities.[10]

Although a massive National Day fireworks display had been planned along the harbour in Hong Kong to celebrate the 70th anniversary – as it has done every year since 1997, Hong Kong government cancelled them "for safety reasons" over the protests in the city that have lasted since March. A more low-key celebration has been planned in the territory.[11][10]


The city of Beijing was in virtual lockdown in the run-up to the anniversary.[12][13] Objects that could overfly the capital – for example kites, balloons, drones and even pigeons – were banned. The use of walkie-talkies and other devices using radio waves, alcohol also joined the list of things that were disallowed.[10][13]

Weeks before the anniversary, motorists were prohibited from refuelling their cars or motorcycles on their own. During rehearsals for a military parade to mark the day, residents close to Tiananmen Square received instructions to stay away from windows and to keep their curtains drawn.[10] Guests in hotels in the vicinity of Tiananmen Square were told that for several hours each day, they would not be able to leave or return to it for hours at a time. Shops and restaurants in the centre closed or shortened their opening hours; some metro stations were closed temporarily.[13]


A sign celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic in Tianjin

China Media Group (CMG), the state-owned holding firm of the China Central Television (CCTV) network and the China Global Television Network (CGTN) international channels, was expected to mainly broadcast synchronously for domestic and foreign TV channels with CCTV-1 as the producing channel for the celebrations, while national, provincial and city broadcasters and TV stations, domestic internet video, portals, and live webcast sites also broadcast the event simultaneously via the CCTV-1 feed. CGTN broadcast the events live overseas and online, including on YouTube, in multiple languages. In addition, China National Radio and China Radio International, both also owned by CMG, served as the official radio stations broadcasting the festivities. On 4 September 2019, CMG held a mobilization meeting to celebrate the 70th anniversary. More than 260 representatives from its member companies attended the event.[14] As the focus of the celebration, the company's radio and television units were bound to take publicity reporting of the celebrations seriously. The China TV News published on 19 September announced on the front page that the second issue (published on the 26th) would disclose the relevant live broadcast arrangements of China Media Group to the event.

Various overseas media also paid attention to the coverage of this event, and those who already met the conditions could broadcast it worldwide. The "press centre for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China" was based in Beijing's Media Center and was officially launched on 23 September.[15]

A "special clean-up operation" was initiated targeting "harmful political information" and any Sina Weibo accounts or posts that "distort the history of the party and the country".[citation needed]

Musical concert[edit]

To mark the special anniversary of national foundation, on Sunday, 29 September, the celebrations began with the CCTV-produced musical concert gala The Nation Moves Onward aired nationwide on CCTV-1 live from the Great Auditorium of the Beijing Great Hall of the People, in which CMC Chairman and General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping attended as guest of honour together with other party and national leaders, veterans of the PLA and other invited guests.

Wreath-laying ceremony at the Monument to the People's Heroes[edit]

The 15th annual wreath laying ceremony in honour of the heroes and martyrs of the Chinese nation and people was held in earnest on 30 September, National Memorial Day, on the grounds of Tiananmen Square in which CMC Chairman and General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping attended as guest of honour, together with other party and national leaders, veterans of the PLA, distinguished citizens, the Young Pioneers and representatives of the civil service and the private sector, in which flowers and wreaths were laid in the Monument to the People's Heroes. This was an idea introduced by former paramount leader Hu Jintao in 2004 to honour the millions of Chinese who perished in the many decades of national struggle of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In an earlier ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, 42 individuals, including several foreigners, were awarded by paramount leader Xi as part of the National Day honours list (several of the awards were posthumous) with national orders and decorations for merit and service to the republic and people as well as to contributing to enhanced ties with foreign countries.

Civil-military parade[edit]

KJ-2000 and J-10s started the flypast formation

The big highlight of the celebrations of the anniversary was the grand civil military parade held on 1 October in the grounds of Tiananmen Square to mark this special anniversary of the foundation of the PRC. With an estimated 15,000 marching in the ground column, 600 vehicles in the mobile column and around 180 in the flypast column, alongside a more than 110,000 strong civil column, it was the biggest ever civil-military parade to be held in the history of the PRC.[citation needed]

The traditional card stunt display, introduced in 1955, was officially abolished for this year following the success of the 2015 Victory Day parade, and thus on that day audience stands were in place in the grounds of the Square in its place, reflecting the crowds that were there 70 years ago during the foundation ceremony. This was the first parade to include three colour guards representing the Flag of the CPC, the Flag of the PRC and the Flag of the PLA (in that order) have been incorporated in the guard of honour. General Secretary Xi recognized the colours prior to inspecting the troops in another National Day first.[citation needed]

Leaders in attendance[edit]

Military parade[edit]

Infantry formation[edit]

In order of appearance:

Vehicle column[edit]

In order of appearance:

Flypast column[edit]

Civilian parade[edit]

In order of appearance:

  • Flag of the People's Republic of China
  • National Emblem of the People's Republic of China preceded by the years 1949 and 2019
  • Red flag bearers
  • Open-top buses carrying family members and relatives of the founding fathers of the PRC, members of the Central People's Government and deputies of the CPPCC, as well as veterans of the People's Liberation Army and living participants of the 1949 parade, escorted by motocycle riders of People's Armed Police


The Central Military Band of the People's Liberation Army of China is composed of 1,321 musicians. The head and chief commander is Zhang Haifeng. For the first time, the military orchestra used military instruments such as military numbers, long ceremonies, and timpani drums during the National Day military parade. In this military parade, a total of 28 pieces of music were played, such as "March of the Steel Torrent", "Chongshang Yunxiao", "Honor to the Horn", "Divided Horn", etc. 12 of which are classic marches and 16 are new pieces. On National Day, there were a total of 50 rehearsals for the parade and mass parade, including 25 military parades and masses. The mass parade will also join the 2,100 adult choirs, 400 children's choirs from the Central Radio and Television Station Galaxy Junior Television Art Troupe and the 130 National Percussion Orchestra, claiming to be the world's largest "square concert".[18]

Military parade[edit]

  1. Welcome March (欢迎进行曲)
  2. March of the Volunteers (National Anthem of the People's Republic of China)
  3. The Horn and Overture (致敬号角)
  4. Military Parade (阅兵式号角)
  5. The People's Army is Loyal to the Party
  6. Military Anthem of the People's Liberation Army
  7. Troops Review March of the PLA (Inspection March of the PLA) (检阅进行曲)
  8. Three Rules of Discipline and Eight Points for Attention
  9. The New Army Goes Forward (新型陆军向前进)
  10. People's Navy, Forward (人民海军向前进)
  11. March of the PLA Air Force (中国空军进行曲)
  12. March of the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (火箭军进行曲)
  13. Song of the Loyal Guards (忠诚卫士之歌)
  14. Battle Hymn of the Strong Army (强军战歌)
  15. Please Review (请你检阅)
  1. Divisional Horn (分列式号角)
  2. Parade March of the People's Liberation Army (分列式进行曲)
  3. Steel Torrent March (钢铁洪流进行曲)
  4. Blue Journey March (蓝色征程进行曲)
  5. Eagle Strike March (雄鹰出击进行曲)
  6. Thousand-Mile Decisive Victory March (决胜千里进行曲)
  7. Sweeping East Wind March (东风浩荡进行曲)
  8. Rushing into the Clouds (冲上云霄)
  9. Glorious Moments (辉煌时刻)
  10. Victory is Upon Us (胜利在召唤)

Civilian parade[edit]

  1. Ode to the Red Flag (红旗颂)
  2. Ode to the Motherland
  3. Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China
  4. The East is Red
  5. Socialism is Good

National Day evening gala[edit]

A 90-minute grand evening gala was slated to be held at the Tiananmen Square at 8:00 p.m. 60,000 people attended the evening gala, including a total of at least 6,940 performers at the grounds of the square. CMC Chairman and General Secretary Xi Jinping was the guest of honour of the gala night, together with other party and national leaders present.[19][20]


Hong Kong[edit]

Protesters throwing eggs at Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping's portrait

In response to the ceremonies, 20,000 people participated in the National Day protests in Hong Kong that were initially peaceful, with violent incidents occurring later during the day.[21] Police used a live round for the first time to shoot a protester who was attacking police officers with a metal bar. The protester was taken to the emergency room of the Princess Margaret Hospital.[22]

Republic of China (Taiwan)[edit]

In the Republic of China (ROC), the governing pro-independence party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) denounced the PRC and CCP as threats to peace and trying to find excuses for its military expansion and rejects the "One country, two systems" model.[23] DPP leader and ROC president Tsai Ing-wen told reporters that "We are a country of democracy and freedom and will show support for anyone in the world who pursues democracy and freedom. Likewise, any ruler should carefully listen to the people's pursuit of freedom and democracy and respect the people's will.”

Some members of the pro-unification opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) called on the DPP to accept the 1992 Consensus while rejecting the Taiwan independence movement.[24]


  •  Canada – Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was the guest of honour at a Vancouver soiree to celebrate the event, during tensions following the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Meanwhile, pro-Chinese government individuals impeded or attacked assemblies of people concerned about Hong Kong in Ottawa, Vancouver and Richmond, British Columbia. Journalist Terry Glavin saw an "existential struggle for the future of democracy in the world... being fought street by street, mall by mall and plaza by plaza, in the streets of Hong Kong".[25] Toronto Mayor John Tory boycotted the annual flag raising of China event at City Hall, despite previously attending every year.[26]
  •  Iran – Hassan Rouhani, the then-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, extended his sincere congratulations to the friendly Chinese people. Iran is willing to work with China to continuously enhance the common interests of the two countries and safeguard world peace and stability, Rouhani said, adding that he wishes China prosperity and its people happiness and health.[27]
  •  Israel – Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China has made great achievements that have attracted worldwide attention. Israel attaches great importance to the good relations with China, and is willing to work with China to continue to build and strengthen their innovative comprehensive partnership. Israel recognized the PRC in 1950 in place of the Republic of China.[27]
  •  North Korea – North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un congratulated China on the 70 years of diplomatic ties, saying that the two countries' "invincible friendship will be immortal on the road of accomplishing the cause of socialism".[28] Xi Jinping in turn said that China promote a "long-term, sound and stable" relationship with North Korea.[29]
  •  Pakistan – Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan congratulated China in a tweet.[30]
  •  Russia – The Soviet Union was the first country to recognize the People's Republic of China on October 2, 1949. The Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the PRC on 70 years of diplomatic ties. Xi stated that the China-Russia relationship has achieved the highest level among major-country relations in terms of mutual trust, coordination and strategic value, and has made important contributions to maintaining world peace, stability and development.[citation needed]
  •  Serbia – In Serbia, a cinema hall has screened My People, My Country, which was praised by local Serb and Chinese audiences in Belgrade. At the end of the film, the large crowd of audience stood up to the namesake theme song, singing and waving Chinese national flags.[31] Serbia's relations with China have improved in recent years following the NATO bombing in 1999.[citation needed]
  •  Tajikistan – The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan gifted a silver mine license to a Chinese company in honour of the 70th anniversary.[32]
  •  Turkey – The mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu congratulated the People's Republic of China on its 70th anniversary while attending the celebration ceremony organized by the Chinese Consulate-General in Istanbul.[citation needed]
  •  United States – U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated the People's Republic of China on its 70th anniversary in a tweet, which was criticized by some of his fellow Republicans.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Since the founding of the people's republic to 2009, the country has held 14 National Day grand military parades in 1949–1959, 1984, 1999, and 2009.[1]


  1. ^ a b 新中国历次大阅兵 [New China's previous grand military parades]. Chinese government web. Xinhua News Agency. 21 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 December 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Press center for celebration of 70th anniversary of PRC founding holds 2nd press conference". Xinhua News Agency. 26 September 2019. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  3. ^ "State Council releases activity logo of 70th anniversary of PRC founding". China Daily. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  4. ^ "China says National Day parade 'won't disappoint' in scale or weapons". South China Morning Post. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  5. ^ "China to grandly celebrate 70th National Day". China.org.cn. Xinhua News Agency. 30 August 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  6. ^ Regan, Helen; Griffiths, James (October 2019). "Man shot with live round in major escalation of Hong Kong protests". CNN.
  7. ^ "Icon unveiled for 70th founding anniversary of PRC". Xinhua News Agency. 3 June 2019. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Central Beijing Off Limits as Army Rehearses for Anniversary Parade". Voice of America. Agence France-Presse. 8 September 2019. Archived from the original on 16 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  9. ^ "China to hold grand celebration, military parade on National Day". Xinhua News Agency. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e Kuo, Lily (26 September 2019). "No drones, drinking or dissent: China lays down law ahead of 70th anniversary". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  11. ^ Cheung, Tony (18 September 2019). "National Day fireworks in Hong Kong cancelled over safety fears". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 23 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  12. ^ Dixon, Robyn (25 September 2019). "China going big with military parade for its 70th anniversary". MSN. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  13. ^ a b c "China 70th anniversary: Pigeon ban and lockdowns as countdown begins". BBC. 24 September 2019. Archived from the original on 25 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  14. ^ 总台召开国庆70周年宣传报道动员大会 [Central television convenes a mobilization meeting for the 70th anniversary of the National Day]. Tencent (in Chinese). CCTV.com. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  15. ^ Bai, Yu (21 August 2019). 庆祝新中国成立七十周年活动新闻中心9月23日运行 [Press center for celebration of 70th anniversary of PRC founding operates on 23 September] (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Women militia participate in China's National Day parade_70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China".
  17. ^ http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2019-10/01/content_9641924.htm
  18. ^ 最大规模军乐团亮相国庆阅兵现场 (in Chinese). Xinhua. 1 October 2019. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Grand gala to be held on National Day". China.org.cn. Xinhua News Agency. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  20. ^ Leigh, Karen (26 September 2019). "Why This Year's National Day Means So Much to China". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  21. ^ Graham-Harrison, Emma; Yu, Verna (1 October 2019). "Hong Kong protester shot with live round during China National Day rally". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Yeung, Jessie; Griffiths, James; George, Steve (1 October 2019). "Hong Kong protesters hit the streets as China marks 70 years of Communist rule". CNN. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Taiwan condemns China's 'dictatorship' on 70th anniversary of communist rule". The Star Online. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Taiwan stands firm against 'one country, two systems'". South China Morning Post. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  25. ^ Glavin, Terry (2 October 2019). "The Liberals need to decide if Canada really wants to be on China's side". National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
  26. ^ "John Tory was right not to salute China's flag | The Star". thestar.com. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  27. ^ a b http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/02/c_138444661.htm
  28. ^ France-Pressse, Agence (6 October 2019). "China and North Korea hail 'immortal and invincible' friendship". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  29. ^ "Xi and Kim hail 'immortal' China-North Korea relationship". CNA. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  30. ^ Khan, Imran (1 October 2019). "Today on the 70th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China I want to extend our nation's greetings to our true & steadfast friend China. I have always admired China's development & fight against corruption". @ImranKhanPTI. Retrieved 4 October 2019.[non-primary source needed]
  31. ^ "Chinese film "My People, My Country" captivates audience in Serbia - Xinhua | English.news.cn". www.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Tajikistan gifts silver mine license to Chinese company". Eurasianet. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  33. ^ Nakamura, David (1 October 2019). "Trump offers 'congratulations' as China's Communist Party flexes military, authoritarian muscle". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2019.

External links[edit]