China is set to host lavish events to mark 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
On 1 October 1949, Mao Zedong – or Chairman Mao – announced the formation of the PRC, after communist forces won a bloody civil war.
Modern China has since developed at an extraordinary pace, but it has also one of the world’s most restrictive states.
Beijing will stage one of the biggest military parades ever, with President Xi Jinping expected to speak.
The celebrations on Tuesday risked being overshadowed by ongoing protests in Hong Kong, where thousands of people were expected to take to the streets in protest against what they say is increasing control by Beijing over the territory’s society and politics.
Police said they had received credible intelligence that activists were planning a major violent escalation, setting fire to shops and train stations.
Hong Kong was in lockdown in the early hours of Tuesday, and some 6,000 officers were deployed in the territory. Several metro stations and shopping centres were closed.
An annual fireworks display had previously been cancelled.
The parade expected in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing will be among the biggest China has ever staged, involving 15,000 troops and a display of the nation’s newest military technology. President Xi, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao, is expected to begin events with a speech and a troop inspection.
What is China celebrating?