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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China marks 60 years with show of military power

RIA Novosti

09:29 01/10/2009 BEIJING, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - The People's Republic of China celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding on Thursday with a vast display of the country's military might on Tiananmen Square.

Some 5,000 troops paraded in front of the country's leadership, showcasing 52 new types of military equipment, all domestically developed and most appearing in public for the first time.

Despite the columns of infantry and vehicles filing past, Chinese President Hu Jintao declared that China's foreign policy was intended to bring peace to the world.

"China was and remains wedded to an independent foreign policy, aimed at the retention of lasting peace and universal prosperity on the planet," he said on the square where Mao Zedong announced the communists' victory on October 1, 1949.

Hu hailed China's peaceful development and said it would "forge friendly and collaborative relations with all countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence."

Security in the capital was extremely tight for the event, which had around 200,000 participants. Even the journalists permitted to attend were not chosen until the last minute, with accreditation only given five hours before they were required to go to Tiananmen Square.

RIA Novosti's reporter was one of the lucky ones, and many of the journalists who slept on the floor at the press center went away empty handed.

The much-anticipated military parade was the first since China's 50th anniversary, and the new weaponry on show included pilotless aerial vehicles, radar, helicopters and several missiles, including ballistic missiles.

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