Thursday’s 60th anniversary military parade in China was a thoroughly traditional affair.
Certainly the modern weaponry, the floats celebrating China’s achievements, and President Hu Jintao’s speech about a “new era of progress and development” projected that image.
But the grandiose event also reflected what has not changed in China.
Phalanxes of goose-stepping soldiers stamped past the reviewing stand on Tiananmen gate in perfect unison. Tanks and missiles and amphibious fighting vehicles lumbered by in their wake, displaying China’s newest military hardware, Christian Science Monitor reports.
It was also reported, a troop of young women sang "Happy Birthday" to their homeland, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the day Chairman Mao Zedong declared the founding of modern China from Tiananmen Gate.
China's current leader, Hu Jintao, wore what has come to be called a Mao suit. His colleagues, and past leaders, all dressed in Western suits.
President Hu stood in an open-topped Red Flag limousine to review the troops. Then, he stood in the same place as Mao on the Tiananmen Gate, to pay tribute to all the achievements that brought China to where it is today.
Mr. Hu says "long live the great People's Republic of China, the great Chinese Communist Party and the great Chinese people," Voice of Americe reports.
Xinhua quoted Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan as saying, "It is obligatory for me to do what my country asks me to do. As a Chinese, I feel very proud and excited."
Ma Ni, a physique shaping coach for volunteers at the Beijing Olympics, said she gave full mark to the paraded soldiers as they were "handsome and brave" and completely suit the standard of "nice figures."
"It is a birthday of New China and a great festival of overseas Chinese. China's military parade is the largest ever I've seen compared to those of other countries," said Ling Ta Fou, director of Hungary's general federation of overseas Chinese, at the celebration, Xinhua reports.