A grand military parade has been staged in China to mark 70 years of communist rule in the country.
Chinese President Xi Jinping rode an open-top limousine past symmetrical rows of troops and military vehicles, shouting “Hello comrades” as he passed.
The troops shouted back “Hello chairman” and turned their heads in unison to watch the president.
Marching troops, a military band and a military gun salute were deployed as President Xi addressed a crowd of thousands following a flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square.
The square was only open to invited guests but the president’s speech was broadcast live across the country.
China’s ruling Communist Party organised the grand parade to showcase the country’s military capabilities and mark the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
A new hypersonic ballistic nuclear missile – believed to be capable of breaching anti-missile shields – was among the weapons displayed during the event.
The parade through central Beijing includes 15,000 troops and more than 160 aircraft.
A large section of the city’s main street has been closed for the event and buildings along the route have also been closed.
It comes as a day of protests is expected across Hong Kong, with posters advertising the action calling for 1 October to be marked as “A Day of Grief”.
Pro-Beijing protesters scuffled with a small group of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, despite police attempting to keep the two groups apart.
The pro-democracy protesters planned to march on the 70th anniversary celebrations.
Hong Kong’s acting leader, Matthew Cheung, said his city has become “unrecognisable” due to the violent protests rocking the territory.
Mr Cheung, representing Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, said the government would use new thinking to address the problems voiced by protesters.
Author: Emily Mee