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China goes all out for National Day

Last updated on: October 1, 2011 20:57 IST

China goes all out for National Day

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Chinese leaders on Saturday descended at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and paid tribute to martyrs, as the country marked its 62nd national day, with Premier Wen Jiabao pledging to address the nation's biggest issues, including rising inflation and corruption. 

The celebrations kicked off with President Hu Jintao and other top leaders paying floral tributes to the martyrs at the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen square.


Image: Tourists gather around a giant red lantern on display at Beijing's Tiananmen Square
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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In a speech on Friday night, Wen had pledged to address rising inflation, a yawning income gap, unemployment, food safety, corruption, environmental destruction and social injustice. 

He said the country was enjoying a stable and fast growth rate despite the complex world economic situation.


Image: People in traditional attire take part in a National Day ceremony before the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Photographs: Takuro Yabe/Reuters
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"China's economy has maintained a stable and fast growth with price hikes under control," Wen said, adding that living standards have also been raised as urban employment has increased.


Image: China's President Hu Jintao takes part in a National Day ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Photographs: Takuro Yabe/Reuters
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As the leaders celebrated the day with various ceremonies, the country was officially shut down for a week to mark the day. Most people went back to their villages or to holiday destinations, putting immense pressure on the country's transport system. 

The state media reported that during the week-long National Day holiday starting from Saturday, more than 530 million people are expected to travel, an increase of about 10 per cent from the same period last year.


Image: Thousands of tourists visit Beijing's Tiananmen Square on China's 62nd National Day
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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He Jianzhong, spokesman for the ministry of transport, said China's railways, highways and airlines will serve a daily average of 75.6 million travellers during the holiday from October 1 to 7. 

He said that more than 8.30 lakh buses with 20 million seats will be operating during the holiday. Meanwhile, 21,000 ships with nearly 900,000 seats will be operating at full steam.


Image: Participants hold red flags during the National Day ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Photographs: Takuro Yabe/Reuters
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