Beijing, Oct 1 (EFE).- China ushered in its so-called Golden Week celebrations on Saturday, as the Asian country marked its National Day which takes place every year on October 1 on the anniversary of the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China (1949).
President Xi Jinping, who is just two weeks away from the 20th congress of the Communist Party of China where he is expected to be re-elected for an unprecedented third term, participated Friday in an act of homage to the fallen in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
The State Council also held a reception in the Great Hall of the People, located next to the central square, to mark the event which was attended by around 500 guests, including international diplomats.
Russian President Vladimir Putin took the opportunity to highlight Moscow’s strategic alliance with Beijing and congratulated Xi on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
“Russian-Chinese relations are developing dynamically in the spirit of all-round partnership and strategic interaction. Despite the complicated international situation, we are cooperating successfully in the most diverse areas, pooling our efforts to build a more democratic and equitable world order and to counter modern threats and challenges,” a Telegram statement published by the Kremlin Saturday read.
These dates are usually among the most popular for tourism in the Asian country, but Chinese authorities have told citizens to limit their movements until the end of October, a period that includes the most important holiday week of the year for domestic tourism and the forthcoming CPC congress.
China has been ramping up PCR testing at airports and train stations ahead of the national holiday following several positive Covid cases in travelers moving between different cities.
China’s transport ministry is expecting some 210 million road trips during the holiday, 30% less than the same time last year.
Train travel in the country is also expected to see a 50% drop, with some 68.5 million passengers between September 28 and October 8, according to state television network CGTN.
The Asian country has suffered several Omicron-fuelled outbreaks that have caused record numbers of infections not seen since the early pandemic days in 2020, which shuttered entire cities including Shanghai (east) and Chengdu (center).
Chinese health authorities last month stood by their zero-Covid strategy saying it is “the most economical and scientific” for the country because “it quickly detects new infections and contains the spread at the lowest cost and as soon as possible.”
According to official data, since the start of the pandemic, 250,621 people have been infected and 5,226 have died, although the total number of infected people excludes asymptomatic people. EFE