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First ever PLA parade in barracks for Army Day
(China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-07-21 11:47

Representatives from all walks of life in Hong Kong will be invited to watch a parade of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) garrison troops in the city on August 1, the anniversary of the establishment of PLA.

It will be the first time in both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland that a parade has been held in the military barracks, a leading official of the Liaison Office of the Central People's government in Hong Kong said on Tuesday.

August 1 celebrates the 77th founding anniversary of the PLA.

"The parade is aimed at displaying our national sovereignty, strength of national defence and the central government's power and determination to safeguard national and regional security," the official said.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China 55 years ago, the Central Military Commission has held 13 military parades in Beijing's Tian'anmen Square.

The coming parade will be of greater significance for Hong Kong since it returned to the embrace of the motherland seven years ago, he noted.

All members of the second Legislative Council are among those invited to watch the parade, the official added.

He hoped that the event could display the PLA's modernization level and help enhance the close relationship between the army and the Hong Kong people.

About 15,000 parade tickets will be distributed to Hong Kong citizens.

Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland in 1997, the PLA garrison troops in Hong Kong have opened the military barracks eight times for citizens to visit and hold various kinds of celebration activities on the anniversary.

In another development, Yuan Weimin, minister of the State Administration of Sports, announced in Beijing yesterday that he would lead a delegation of Chinese Olympic medallists to visit Hong Kong and Macao after the upcoming Athens Olympic Games.

China will send a record 407 athletes to compete in 26 sports at the Games.

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