Beijing shuts down for commemoration parade rehearsal
Roads, metro stations and businesses close for run-through of next month's military display
Beijing has shut down roads, metro stations and shopping streets for today's full dress rehearsal of the massive military parade to commemorate the end of the second world war on September 3.
Propaganda officials yesterday escorted nearly 100 foreign journalists on a tour of a military base outside Beijing, where troops are running through drills. The parade will feature 12,000 soldiers and about 500 pieces of military equipment, much of it never displayed publicly before.
Roads surrounding Tiananmen Square and Changan Avenue, where soldiers will march, have been shut down. Additional major roads in central Beijing, including in the central business district, were being added to the list throughout the night.
Vehicles have been banned from parking in the area or near to it. The road restrictions will be lifted when the rehearsal is over at around noon.
Public transport has also been affected. The entire section of the subway's Line 1 suspended operation beginning at midnight. Some stations on Line 2, 4, 9 and 10 were also closed. Service will resume after noon.
A total of 253 bus lines have been affected, with 69 stopping service altogether.
The Forbidden City, the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and a few public facilities near Tiananmen Square have closed. Shopping streets nearby were also closed until noon.
The mainland's strategic missile force, the Second Artillery Corp, would display seven types of missiles on September 3, including long-range, intermediate and short-range missiles, Xinhua reported, citing military sources.
"The scale and number of the missiles will surpass any previous outing," a military source was quoted as saying.
"Our missile weaponry has seen great advances, in terms of firing range, strike methods, accuracy and mobility," said the source.
Many internet users have complained about the inconvenience caused by the measures. Some weibo users labelled the parade and its rehearsal as a "harassment to ordinary people and a waste of money".
But other users welcomed the relatively cleaner skies over the capital after factories were closed and restrictions imposed on the use of private cars.