By Gabriel Crossley and Martin Quin Pollard
People gathered on Thursday in Beijing to take photographs of celebratory flyovers and sing revolutionary songs as the ruling Communist Party celebrated its 100th birthday, expressing pride in China’s development and wishes for a more powerful country.
Some congregated by an ancient canal once used to bring grain into the city, but now overshadowed by the skyscrapers of the financial district, to watch helicopters fly over, spelling out “100” across the sky.
President Xi Jinping hailed a “new world” created by the Chinese people as the party marked the centenary of its founding with a ceremony in the capital’s central Tiananmen Square.
Wang Peng, 34, an engineer at electronics giant Xiaomi, who took time off work to film the aircraft on his telephone, was especially excited by a shot of the jets releasing colourful smoke trails.
“I hope China will get stronger in technology, especially in key technologies, so that foreign countries can’t seize us by our throat,” he said, echoing one of Xi’s priorities as the United States squeezes the country’s access to high-tech.