BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed the armed forces here on Tuesday as part of the country's National Day celebrations which also coincided with the 70th founding anniversary of the ruling Communist Party.
China's military has shown off a new hypersonic ballistic nuclear missile believed capable of breaching all existing anti-missile shields deployed by the U.S. and its allies.
The vehicle-mounted DF-17 was among weapons displayed Tuesday in a massive military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese state.
Some analysts have called the missile a threat to regional stability because its speed allows far less time to determine whether to fire nuclear weapons in response.
That speed and its use of multiple independently maneuverable re-entry vehicles to deliver its warheads makes it far more difficult to detect and intercept.
The DF-17's hypersonic glide vehicle technology also permits it to fly at a much lower altitude just prior to delivering its warhead, further frustrating attempts to detect and intercept.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping rode in an open-top limousine past rows of troops and military equipment in a major review to mark 70 years of Communist rule in China.
He shouted "Hello comrades" as his fast-moving car passed each group of troops, along with parked armored vehicles, rows of missiles, and other arrayed weapons. The troops shouted back "Hello chairman." Their heads turned in unison as Xi and his black car passed.
At other times he shouted "Good work comrades" or "Hard work comrades," and they responded "Serve the People."
A long section of a main street in Beijing has been closed for the event, with access to buildings along the route closed.
Building the country's military strength is a major part of Xi's effort to make China a global power.
A grand ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of communist rule in China has begun in militaristic fashion with marching troops, a military band and an artillery gun salute.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and former leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao joined other officials Tuesday high up on the gate where Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949.
Xi Is addressing a crowd of thousands after a flag-raising ceremony. The event at Tiananmen Square is open only to invited guests but is being broadcast live nationwide.
Community dialogues in HK
Hong Kong's acting leader has said at a reception marking 70 years of communist rule in China that his city has become "unrecognizable" because of the violent protests consuming the semiautonomous Chinese territory.
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said Tuesday that the Hong Kong government has shown the highest sincerity by kicking off a series of community dialogues last week and will use new thinking to address the deep-rooted social issues contributing to protester grievances.
Cheung was representing city leader Carrie Lam, who led a delegation to Beijing for a major military parade and festivities to mark the anniversary.
The government has mounted tight security around the city ahead of rallies planned in multiple locations. Protest posters call for October 1 to be marked as "A Day of Grief."
Significance of the event
China's ruling Communist Party celebrates its 70th anniversary in power with a parade showcasing the country's economic growth and newest weapons.
Tuesday's event marks the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 1949, announcement of the founding of the People's Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war.
The parade follows President Xi Jinping's promise to allow Hong Kong to manage its own affairs despite anti-government protests that have embarrassed the ruling party ahead of the year's highest-profile propaganda event.
The parade through central Beijing is due to include 15,000 troops and more than 160 aircraft.
Chinese news reports say it might include a new long-range nuclear-armed missile and a supersonic drone aircraft. Military spokespeople have declined to give details.
Brief scuffle in Hong Kong
Pro-Beijing protesters have scuffled briefly with a small group of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as the latter began to march on the 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China.
The 7:30 am march Tuesday was the start of what is expected to be a day of protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
The protesters marched as the government was holding an annual ceremony to mark the anniversary of Communist Party rule.
Police lined up to try to keep the two groups apart, but some minor scuffles ensued. Two pro-Beijing protesters were arrested. The Hong Kong protests come as China prepares to mark the anniversary in Beijing with a major military parade and festivities.