Thursday, October 01, 2009

National Day brings blue skies, sun & smiles

Hundreds of ordinary Beijingers flocked onto the streets to watch the fly-by of Chinese military jets during Thursday's National Day celebrations. While most people stayed at home to watch festivities on television, sunshine and blue skies brought out many excited residents who patiently waited two hours for the short air show. 

Shortly before midday a Chinese KJ-2000 AWACS aircraft tailed by several jets each streaming coloured smoke soared across the brilliant blue skies as excited Beijingers took photographs and waved flags. Several waves of aircraft took part including H-6 bomber aircraft, Chengdu J10 jets and WZ9 attack helicopters. 

The airshow finished within a few minutes, but the joy of having witnessed something of China's celebration live could be seen in the countless smiles across people's faces. With the show over, the streets soon emptied once again as people returned home. Tonight many may well venture out to see several planned fireworks displays.

As for the main parade, which was shown on television to an audience of millions, it proceeded as planned and seemingly without a hitch. Chinese president Hu Jintao watched as military vehicles and dozens of floats rolled through Tiananmen Square surrounded by a dazzling display of colour. It culminated in a parade of school children who released thousands of red balloons into the sky.

It was a sky that was incredibly blue with only a few white clouds, a strong contrast to the polluted skies seen in recent days. Even the US Embassy's air monitoring station in Beijing registered good air quality with an AQI of less than 50 for most of the day. The clean air, sunshine and a refreshing breeze put a smile on many people's faces as China celebrated its 60th birthday. 
tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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