Anniversary preparations in high gear

Sept. 29, 2009 at 7:25 AM
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BEIJING, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities are leaving nothing to chance to mar the country's 60th anniversary celebrations next week, observers say.

A report in The New York Times said every possible precaution has been taken to ensure the show at Beijing's Tiananmen Square to mark the Oct. 1 founding of the People's Republic of China goes without a flaw, hitch or incident.

The preparations include about 10,000 police officers and security guards monitoring Beijing street corners and checkpoints and another 800,000 volunteers maintaining security, the report said.

There will be a ban on knife sales at some stores and the capital's international airport will close Thursday for three hours. No domesticated pigeons will be allowed for fear they could be used to carry mini bombs and there will be no parade-watching from balconies or through opened windows.

Three reporters for Japan's Kyodo News agency told the Times Chinese authorities assaulted them after finding them standing on their hotel balcony to cover a parade rehearsal last week. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said the Japanese journalists had allegedly ignored instructions not to report the rehearsal.

The parade will also showcase China's latest military capabilities.

"This is an extraordinary achievement that speaks to the level of our military's modernization and the huge change in our country's technological strength," Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said on a Web site, The Times report said.

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