While Beijing holds their biggest military parade to commemorate the day, more demonstrations are expected in Hong Kong following some of the worst over the weekend.
By; James R Haft
Tuesday, 1 October 2019, marks the seventieth anniversary of the day Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China, formally proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
General Secretary of the Communist Party, President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping will address the nation from the same balcony on the Gate of Heavenly Peace where Chairman Mao made his proclamation on 1 October 1949, and like on the first celebration, this will be followed by a grand military parade. This year’s will be the largest ever with 15,000 military personnel, 160 fighter jets, bombers and other aircraft, 580 tanks and additional weaponry, some never before seen in public.
Beijing has been all decked out for the celebrations. Magnificent flower arrangements are seen everywhere. Red flags are flying above, and mammoth red banners hang from overpasses extolling the greatness of “Comrade Xi Jinping”. Even topiaries have been installed along the capital’s roadways.
Meanwhile, because of security concerns, residents of apartments in certain areas have been ordered to vacate, entertainment venues have been restricted and authorities have banned flying kites and lanterns as well as homing pigeons, traditions that have long been practiced by different neighbourhoods.
In Hong Kong, where protests have plagued the semiautonomous territory since March, the government has for the first time cancelled their annual pyrotechnic spectacular for safety concerns. Instead, they plan to hold a subdued celebration.
These have been tough times for the Chinese leader with the country’s economic downturn partially caused by the trade war with the US and a Swine Fever epidemic driving up food prices. In addition to the Hong Kong turmoil constantly in the news, China has also been condemned for its detention of Muslims in Xinjiang. These are concerns that President Xi would like to be forgotten as he wants this milestone to promote his and the party’s accomplishments.
This can be seen in the logo for the seventieth anniversary, which is dominated by a red-coloured “70” with a yellow representation of the great wall forming a V for victory or U for unity. These colours, red and yellow, are the same as the national flag that has flown over the People’s Republic of China since 1949. Flying about the “70” are five doves that represent the five continents of the world where China is expanding its influence. According to Xinhua, or the New China news agency, the doves ascend in flight, starting in red and ending in yellow, to convey a desire for peace and unity as well as “the Chinese people flying to a future of great rejuvenation under the leadership of the Communist Party”, which refers to President Xi Jinping’s concept of a “Chinese Dream”.
With hopes that the festivities will communicate these aspirations, most international coverage is expected to interject reporting from Hong Kong as well as other less celebratory news, which could stain this image President Xi hopes to convey.