Foreign leaders attend September 3 parade

A look back at last year!
Thirty heads of state and government leaders attended the 3 September 2015 parade in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The foreign leaders included Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Former Taiwanese Vice President Lien Chan also attended.

(Most pics from the media and WeChat, except the last ones)
The parade included some 12,000 soldiers, 50 generals, 500 pieces of military hardware and nearly 200 aircraft. Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over the parade ceremony, flanked by his two predecessors, Jiang Zemin, 89, and Hu Jintao, 72. Three former Premiers – Li Peng, Zhu Rongji and Wen Jiabao – also turned out for the event. In a speech at the parade, Xi said the numbers of the PLA’s forces would be cut by 300,000 by 2017.
Oh well, it was a parade strictly to watch on TV. No people allowed on the streets. No enthusiastic citizens waving Chinese flags for the soldiers. Except for the “selected” foreigners and others who suffered hours and hours to be on Tiananmen Square. I was happy not to be invited and preferred to watch the planes fly over Guomao and watch CCTV.
Security measures were massive, including in Sanlitun and the main shopping areas. Beijing lockdown with many streets blocked: I went home quickly during the rehearsals and the parade days because I had the risk I could not go home at a certain point (it was actually a bit scary…). Most restaurants closed, and many shops. Yeah the sky was blue, after APAC blue now Parade blue after shutting down industry and social life. Beijing nearly became a ghost town except for the rumbling of the tanks and other heavy vehicles that I could hear in Julong Garden.
Draconian measures out of fear for “incidents” and to control pollution.

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