Reporters visit the digital media experience lab at the news center for the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The center opened in Beijing on Monday. (China Daily/Wang Zhuangfei)
Early on Monday, Beijing concluded the third joint rehearsal for the National Day celebrations next Tuesday, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The rehearsal, which ran from Saturday afternoon to the wee hours of Monday in Tian'anmen Square and areas along Chang'an Avenue in downtown Beijing, included a grand military parade, a mass pageant and other performances as well as emergency response drills.
The last rehearsal before the grand celebration starts attracted the attention of many across the country. Since Saturday, Chinese social media, including Sina Weibo and WeChat, have been flooded with Beijing residents posting images and short videos recording the formations of fighter jets as well as a fireworks display that lit up the skies on Sunday.
On Sunday, many in Beijing witnessed and took videos of groups of fighter jets flying across the sky, either in formations that looked like a 70, marking the 70th anniversary, or in triangular formations that left long, colorful trails of smoke.
The content, quickly posted online, created a sensation among netizens. "It made me feel so excited right now. I may cry on the day of the parade," one Weibo user said.
Wang Xiao, a 26-year-old Beijing resident, posted Sunday on WeChat's Moments feature six images that she captured as jets flew by. "I was taking a casual walk while the jets flew right over my head. That moment felt very good, and I felt proud," she said.
It was also the first time the rehearsal included a full fireworks show. On Sina Weibo, the topic "National Day rehearsal adds fireworks display for the first time" garnered over 170 million views and 24,000 comments.
"I anxiously look forward to the parade. I will definitely be like a child, getting up very early in the morning and waiting in front of the TV," another Weibo user said.
The two earlier rehearsals ended on Sept 8 and Sept 16. This last one went through six parts of the celebrations and involved 300,000 people including audience members, performers and support service providers.
According to the celebration's media center, the rehearsal focused on testing the coordination of the entire process and all other factors and participating parties to enhance the overall effectiveness of the operation.
It said the process and content of the latest rehearsal followed that of the formal event in its entirety, adding that it was well organized and achieved the expected results.
The news center, located at the Beijing Media Center, officially opened on Monday. It will hold news conferences, organize group interviews and field trips and provide information and free access to radio and television signals.
The center said on its social media account that it has set up a digital media experience lab for the first time and will provide journalists with a "high-quality, interactive and intelligent" media experience under a fully 5G communications network.