China says there will be no military parade to mark Communist Party centenary

Jun Mai
·3-min read

Beijing has ruled out holding a military parade to mark the Communist Party’s centenary in July, as it released details of some of the activities planned for the anniversary.

“There will be no military parade,” Li Jun, assistant director of the Central Military Commission’s Political Work Department, told a press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

“All [military] personnel will remain in their positions to celebrate the centenary and safeguard the peace of the country and the people.”

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The centenary on July 1 is considered one of the most important political tasks for the party this year, and officials across the country have been told to ensure social stability is maintained for the event.

President Xi Jinping has said there would be a “grand celebration” and called for the party’s 92 million members to study its history in the lead-up to the milestone.

President Xi Jinping has called for all members to study Communist Party history ahead of the centenary. Photo: Xinhua
President Xi Jinping has called for all members to study Communist Party history ahead of the centenary. Photo: Xinhua

Beijing usually holds lavish military parades every 10 years on October 1, China’s national day. The last such display was in 2019, presided over by Xi, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China.

Four years earlier Xi presided over another parade, marking 70 years since the end of World War II. It was the first time China had put on a military display outside its national day, prompting speculation that a parade could also be planned for the centenary.

But senior military official Li said other activities were planned instead. New spaces would be created that were dedicated to the history of the People’s Liberation Army, including for the Hong Kong garrison and the navy, he said, without elaborating.

He said the main theme for the PLA celebrations would be “consolidating loyalty” to the party and to Xi, who heads the Central Military Commission.

“The army’s celebrations will focus on … resolutely following the command of Chairman Xi, being responsible for Chairman Xi and assuring Chairman Xi,” Li said.

Party officials brief the media on plans for the centenary in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua
Party officials brief the media on plans for the centenary in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua

Meanwhile, party history is to be taught at primary and secondary schools across the country this year.

“We will proactively push for the study of party history – through textbooks, classrooms and minds,” said Wang Xiaohui, executive deputy director of the party’s Publicity Department, who was also at the briefing.

“[We] will guide young people to learn the history and to love the party and the country, and to resolutely listen to the party and follow the party,” he said.

There would also be a “gathering” to celebrate the centenary and Xi would give an address, Wang said, without giving further details.

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Fu Xingguo, deputy director of the Organisation Department, which oversees the party’s cadres, said medals would be awarded to people who had been members for 50 years or longer.

“This will help to incentivise generations of party members to make contributions and help rally support for the party to achieve its 14th five-year plan and the 2035 vision,” Fu said.

Those near- and long-term targets for China’s economic and social development were passed at the annual session of the country’s legislature earlier this month.

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