PLA Guard of Honor heralds military review
China's military parade reached a climax as a formation of Guard of Honor of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) three services marched past Tian'anmen in the center of Beijing.
The tall and handsome soldiers, dressed in green, white and blue ceremonial PLA uniforms, marched past Tian'anmen in swift and impeccable goosesteps, leaving spectators intoxicated in admiration.
The PLA Guard of Honor, representing the Army, Navy and Air Force, escorted the PLA flag. Following the Guard of Honor are 55 phalanxes composed of China's armed forces, including 13 on feet, 30 by vehicles and 12 flying squads.
The PLA flag is red with a golden star in the upper hoist. Next to the star are two Chinese characters "Ba Yi", the Chinese numerals for "8" and "1", which stand for "August 1", to commemorate the establishment of the Communist-led army in 1927.
On August 1, 1927, the Communist Party of China (CPC) fired the first shot of combating Kuomintang (KMT) in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province, after it underwent sanguinary purges.
The Nanchang Uprising was seen as CPC's initial bid to establish the people's army. August 1 has been used as the major symbol of the PLA flag and army emblem since 1949. The date is also China's Army Day.
All the personnel phalanxes will march past Tian'anmen in goosesteps. In between the two ornamental pillars standing on each side of the Tian'anmen Rostrum, the soldiers will have to take exactly 128 goosesteps in 96 meters.
Each step should be exactly 0.75 meters, according to organizers of the parade.
Over the past months, participating servicemen and women had trained for nearly 12 hours a day, even in summer when temperatures reached 40 Celsius.
The PLA Guard of Honor is primarily responsible for ceremony and protocol missions. Since it was established in 1952, the PLA Guard of Honor has successfully accomplished over 3,000 honor and ceremony missions.