The parade will also celebrate the country’s growing military might. China’s military outspends any other country in the world, and this despite the fact that the mainland officially has tens of millions of poor (hundreds according to other sources) and proportionately spends little on public health care and social assistance.
For General Gao Jianguo, spokesman for the office of the National Day Military Parade Joint Command, the military is an important force in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Through this military parade,’ China “will show to the world the great achievements” it “has made in building national defence and military modernisation.”
The military parade is scheduled to last about 66 minutes. It will see soldiers march in 14 formations along Changan Avenue in representation of all the armed forces, Gao said.
All eyes will surely be on the intercontinental ballistic missiles, the battle tanks, intercontinental missiles and assault rifles as well as 150 aircrafts, including fighter jets and helicopters.
In response to international concerns that the parade was a manifestation of Beijing's military expansionism, Gao said it would serve instead to display the country's economic, technological and military achievements.
A pageant of about 200,000 people and various floats will follow the military parade.
Afterwards, a 100-minute-long gala will take place in Tiananmen Square, the highlight of which will be an extravagant firework display.