China: October 1, 1999

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China's celebratory military parade in honor of the communist governments 50th anniversary gave the world a rare opportunity to see China's latest military hardware. The most modern missiles (including the 8,000 kilometer range DF-31) and aircraft (the locally designed Flying Leopard, based on the US F-4 and Russian Su-24) were included. Also shown was a demonstration of air-to-air refueling, something few nations can do with their military aircraft. The parade included 440 armored vehicles, 11,000 troops and over a hundred aircraft flying overhead. To prevent any embarrassing demonstrations, the public was barred from the parade route. There were half a million spectators, but all had been carefully picked for the occasion. Guests in hotels overlooking the parade room were ordered by the police to vacate their rooms until the parade was over. Everyone was urged to view the parade on television.

 

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