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Pomp, patriotism, propaganda: China’s Communist Party readies for centenary

By Jesús Centeno

Beijing, Jun 30 (EFE).- The Chinese Communist Party is poised to mark its 100th anniversary with pomp and ceremony amid strict security measures and a huge propaganda campaign across the country.

The capital Beijing has been decked out with large floral installations, national flags and red posters heralding the centenary celebrations.

Chinese president Xi Jinping is on Thursday due to give a speech from the iconic Tiananmen Square, which has been closed off for several days ahead of the event as preparations went ahead under wraps.

The official program for the festivities has yet to be published, although most expect traditional Chinese celebrations such as light shows and fireworks.

The CCP’s first congress began in Shanghai on 23 July 1921, with the participation of 13 representatives, among them Mao Zedong, who founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and ruled until his death in 1976.

From 1941, Mao decided the anniversary would be celebrated on 1 July each year.

The cities of Shanghai, Tianjin, Wuhan and Chongqing will project the image of the communist hammer and sickle into the night sky.

In the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, authorities have banned the traditional anti-government protests that mark the centenary as well as the territory’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, which also took place on 1 July.

Hong Kong police are to deploy 10,000 agents as a precautionary measure against potential protests and could close off Victoria Park, a traditional meeting place for demonstrators, local press reported.

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