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China's preparing Tiananmen Square military parade: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 4, 2009
China will mark the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic with a military parade showcasing the nation's latest weapons, state press said Sunday.

General Chen Bingde, chief of staff of the People's Liberation Army, has been put in charge of the October 1 parade -- which was last held on the 50th anniversary a decade ago, the People's Daily said on its website.

"The National Day military parade can showcase the modernisation, the build-up and the great success of China's military and display its great strength in defending and reunifying the motherland and advancing world peace," it said.

As in the past, soldiers, tanks and missiles will parade down Beijing's Avenue of Heavenly Peace before gathering in front of the huge portrait of revolutionary Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Square.

The display of force is largely modelled on the former Soviet Union's military parades on Moscow's Red Square.

The 1989 parade for the 40th anniversary was reportedly cancelled after the military crushed democracy protests on Tiananmen Square in June that year.

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Greece agrees Russian air and sea manoeuvres in Aegean
Athens (AFP) Jan 2, 2009
Russian aircraft and warships will this month carry out manoeuvres in the southeast Aegean within the Athens flight information zone (FIZ), Greek military sources said Friday.

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