Cannon firing, flag raising mark 60th anniversary celebration of China

      A grand flag-raising ceremony, firing cannons and a march past down a red carpet in Beijing 's Tiananmen Square marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of Communist China on Thursday. Amid 60 gun salutes and 200 national flag guards in olive green uniforms walked down the platform of the Monument to the People's Heroes in the center of Tian'anmen Square . The guards walked a total of 169 steps, which symbolized 169 years since 1840, a watershed in China 's history when the country lost the Opium War to Britain . And present on the occasion was President Hu Jintao, wearing a slate grey "Mao" suit, along with other Communist Party leaders on the "Gate of Heavenly Peace." President Jintao reviewed the assembled marchers, standing in an open-roof black Red Flag limousine. The parade of 8,000 picture-perfect soldiers, tanks and missiles, 60 elaborate floats, and 100,000 well-drilled civilians will be a proud moment for many Chinese citizens, who watched it on TV or internet, Xinhua reports. In an anniversary reception, late on Wednesday, Premier Wen Jiabao sid: "The credit for 60 years of brilliant achievements goes to the Chinese people and the great Chinese Communist Party."

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