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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 01:08 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 01:08 | SYDNEY

On the scene: Beijing parade rehearsal

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17 September 2009 12:19

While I was in China, the Roggeveen rule of social progress emerged. Sam's initial post was sparked by preparations for China's 60th National Day celebrations on 1 October. My hotel, which sat on the main parade avenue, helpfully listed the three rehearsal periods before the big event. I was there for the Saturday rehearsal, with restrictions running from 10pm to 3am, according to my hotel. But it wasn't quite as simple as that.

By early afternoon, the Forbidden City was once again forbidden, as soldiers posted every few metres stood guard and the bomb squad moved in for a sweep: 

On the streets around the city more over-the-top precautions took over, with armoured vehicles positioned on street corners, manned by heavily-armed soldiers wearing black balaclavas. To an outsider it seemed a bit much, but the Chinese walking past during the day seemed to find it quite amusing. They kept on taking photos while the soldiers kept on insisting that they stop — it didn't take long for the soldiers to give up.  

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