Party on the Square

Today the People’s Republic of China exists exactly 60 years, and to celebrate the occasion there was a big military and civilian parade at Tiananmen Square this morning. A total of 200,000 people performed in the parade and like many Chinese I sat down at 10 AM in front of the TV to watch it. It was an impressive sight, I have to say: China knows how to throw a well organized party. The Opening Ceremony at last year’s Olympics was already a good example and this parade once again confirmed it.

China showed off its latest military material, from tanks and airplanes to nuclear weapons. Quite a sight. Also the thousands of soldiers marching past the leaders at the gate on the North side of Tiananmen Square were impressive. I liked the female troops best, especially the ones in short and tight military skirts and one big group in pink (!) outfits with high white boots. Kinky! The Party Leaders seemed to think the same, because they clapped more enthusiastically when the ladies marched by.

Although the weather in Beijing had been very smoggy over the past days, the government had promised it would make sure the weather would be good, and it worked: this morning the sun broke through the clouds and at 10 AM it was an almost clear blue sky above Tiananmen Square. At the airforce base close to Beijing from where some of the planes for the parade took off, the weather was very different: when the camera’s switched to there before the broadcast you could see it was grey weather and completely cloudy. The reporter even wore a thick coat (this was around 9 AM). Amazing what weather technology can do. As one of the people on Twitter said during the show: If China can control the weather maybe they can also find a way to stop global warming!

What made the parade even better was Twitter. Even though it is blocked in China, many people know tricks to get around it, and a pretty big group was commenting on everything they saw. The comments were often hilarious and this really added to the experience for me. Hopefully during next year’s opening ceremony of the Expo 2010 in Shanghai Twitter will be unblocked so that many more people can join and enjoy the tweets. If you want to get a feel for what people said, do a Twitter search on hashtag #CPC60, I’m sure you’ll find some excellent tweets.

If you want to get a feel for what else is happening in China today go to Tudou. Today we, in cooperation with, broadcast live from 7 AM until 10 PM all the activities happening around the 60th anniversary of the PR China (after 10 PM it will be repeated). The stream is here: On the same page you can find a lot of video’s of the parade as well.

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