The People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 70th anniversary today with a massive military parade in Tiananmen Square.
In all, 15,000 troops, more than 160 aircraft and 580 active weapon systems will be on show in an event designed to showcase the country’s cutting-edge defence technology.
But the parade will be about more than projecting China’s military might – it will promote an image of national unity and President Xi Jinping’s achievements in modernising the People’s Liberation Army.
The event is expected to begin with Xi delivering a speech to the nation before inspecting the troops.
Among the guests will be 10 Hong Kong police officers involved in suppressing anti-government protests in the city, which will hold a much more muted celebration as it confronts its biggest political crisis since its return to China in 1997.
Follow our live coverage from inside Tiananmen Square and beyond. Reporting by Simon Song, Nectar Gan, Sarah Zheng, Minnie Chan, Jun Mai, Liu Zhen, Stephen Chen, Amanda Lee, Daniel Ren, He Huifeng, Phoebe Zhang, Lawrence Chung, Simone McCarthy, Kristin Huang, Laura Zhou, Wendy Wu and Zhou Xin.