Yangzhou/Shanghai, Dec 1 (PTI) From streets to museums, and airports to public squares, Chinese cities are suffused with celebratory red, commemorating the 70 years of the foundation of the People's Republic of China (PRC), as the country remains soaked in the festive mood.
On October 1, 1949, legendary Communist leader Mao Zedong from Beijing's Gate of Heavenly Peace, had proclaimed the founding of the PRC after a bloody civil war, and the period post this phase is generally referred to by the Chinese as 'new China'.
From Beijing to Nanjing and Shanghai to Yangzhou, cities, big and small, are still in the grip of celebratory mood, with ubiquitous five-star red national flags dotting the streets, hanging on lamp posts, and giant decorative pieces themed on 70 years adorning traffic intersections.
Chinese people, young and old, said, the excitement of the 70th year has not subsided and cities continue to wear festive look, post the massive celebrations in Beijing on October 1 where President Xi Jinping presided over the country's largest parade, showcasing its military might and unity among top leaders, to celebrate the Communist Party's hold on power for 70 years.
The celebrations, albeit, took place amid shadows of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
On the 70th anniversary celebrations, Xi had asserted that 'no force can ever shake the status of China, or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward'.
Kang Bing, deputy editor-in-chief of state-run China Daily said, in the anniversary year, the Communist Party of China (CPC)-led government had reaffirmed its vision to eradicate poverty by 2020.
'President Xi's vision is to lift all people out of poverty by 2020, a year ahead of the centenary of the CPC which was founded in 1921. And, the larger goal is to make China a strong country, on top of the world where every citizen lives a comfortable life by 2049, when the PRC will celebrate its 100 years,' he said.
Kang, who recently toured the Jiangsu province, along with a select group of 15 international journalists, said the streets and public institutions still wearing the celebratory red, indicate the excitement and aspirations of the people, many of whom are very old and sill remember the founding of the PRC in 1949.
In capital Beijing, and in Shanghai, where the CPC was founded, red flags buntings and Chinese lanterns adorn the streets while Nanjing, Yangzhou and Nantong cities of Jiangsu Province, tastefully decorated to mark the occasion, present a beautiful sight during day and night.
'On October 1, the city was painted all red as our country marked the 70 years of the PRC. In Nanjing, streets and buildings and public institutions wore the celebratory red, and they still are. And, I am very excited about the anniversary,' said Liu Liu, a local resident of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province.
In historic and cultural city of Yangzhou, the 70-year theme is unmistakable, with street dressed up in red flags and carefully placed banners bearing slogans of the CPC, gardens and riverfronts spruced up and the old historic district around Dongguan Street tastefully illuminated.
'The main function happened on October 1 in Beijing with an imposing parade which we saw on TV or internet. But, to any visitor coming to our city, it would still feel that the celebrations are underway,' said Lili Cai, a desk staff at a heritage hotel housed in the over 300-year-old historic district of Yangzhou.
In Nantong, a rising city, situated on the northern bank of the mighty Yangtze river and nicknamed the 'gateway to Shanghai', the city museum, China's first museum, has installed a huge installation in flaming red which spells '70' accompanied with a running text in Chinese by a reflecting pool. It reads - 'The 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China'.
Tourists, domestic and foreign could be seen taking pictures and selfies with the thematic installation, a common sight across the cities.
Banks, corporate houses have also displayed huge banners themed on the anniversary while small townships too have joined the festivities with decorative pieces and installations on their premises.
In Lingtang village of Yangzhou, home to the Hui (Muslim) ethic group, a cultural centre houses an exhibition on the history of the region, and in the foyer is installed a huge decorative piece, that depicts a red flag with a shining sickle-and-hammer emblem in a corner, and a CPC slogan running through its spread - 'Always keep the task at hand'.
At airports too, the anniversary flavour can be tasted, as huge digital banners depict the celebrations, portraying the Tiananmen gate one side and 'huabiao' - stone column with depiction of dragons and phoenixes which surroundings the ceremonial gate, on the other side.
Short films depicting 70-year of PRC play at Guangzhou airport, one of the busiest in the world.
Li Zhenxue, 24, a native of Shandong Province studying civil engineering at Queensland University, Brisbane in Australia, who flew out of China recently, told PTI: 'Post-1949 is a period of 'new China'... I am going to graduate this month, and then come back to my hometown Jinan. I want to contribute to the growth story of my country as it moves ahead'. PTI KND MRJ MRJ