10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China

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The 10th anniversary celebrations of the People's Republic of China were held on October 1, 1959. The main event was held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The preceding evening, a grand banquet with many international dignitaries had been organized.[1]

Celebrations in Beijing
Defense Minister Lin Biao surveys the troops in Tiananmen Square.
Tank columns on Chang'an Avenue.
Anti-aircraft guns in the military parade before the Great Hall of the People.


In Beijing, ten "great buildings" were constructed ahead of the celebrations. The most prominent of the ten was the Great Hall of the People.[2]

In Beijing[edit]

September 28–29 celebratory meeting[edit]

On September 28 and 29, 1959 a meeting of more than 10,000 people was held in the Great Hall of the People. Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi were present at the dias. Liu Shaoqi held a keynote speech at the meeting. Prominent international guests at the event included Ho Chi Minh, Mikhail Suslov, Emil Bodnăraș, Hermann Matern, Mehmet Shehu, Dimitar Ganev, István Dobi, Aleksander Zawadzki, Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal, Kim Il-sung and Antonín Novotný.[1]

September 30 banquet[edit]

On the evening of September 30, 1959, a jubilee banquet was hosted in the Great Hall of the People. Around 5,000 people attended the banquet, including guests from around 80 countries. Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev entered the hall together, meeting applause. Zhou Enlai and Khrushchev presented their greetings at the banquet. The Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko also participated in the banquet.[1]

Khrushchev had arrived directly from a visit to the United States on the same day. He held a short speech upon his arrival at the airport.[1]

October 1 Tiananmen Square parade[edit]

According to Chinese media, the Tiananmen Square event gathered 700,000 people. At Tiananmen Square participants formed a human version of the national emblem of the People's Republic with the numerals '1949' and '1959' on the sides. A band of one thousand musicians with brass instruments and olive-green uniforms opened the event, playing The East is Red at 09.45. At this point Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev entered the dias. Other dignitaries on the dias included Liu Shaoqi, Soong Ching-ling, Lin Biao, Zhu De, Dong Biwu, Deng Xiaoping and various international guests.[1]

The mayor of Peking, Peng Zhen, declared the ceremony open at 10.00. The national anthem was played and a delegation of 400 Young Pioneers presented a floral tribute at the People's Heroes Monument.[1]

After a speech by Defense Minister Lin Biao, a military parade began, followed by a parade of workers, peasants, students and athletes.[1]

International delegations at the main events in Peking[edit]

At the September 30 banquet, a number of international delegations assisted, representing communist and workers parties and governments. Names of head of delegation in brackets.[3]

Socialist Bloc[edit]

There were eleven joint state-party delegations from the Socialist Bloc, representing;

There were also military delegations present, from Vietnam (headed by Vo Nguyen Giap) and North Korea (headed by Kim Kwang Hyup)



Asia and Pacific[edit]


Other state delegations[edit]

Official state delegations from non-socialist countries included;

International organizations[edit]

Daqing oil fields[edit]

On September 26, 1959, just a few days ahead of the anniversary, oil was discovered at Datongzhen.[4] Datong Town and the oilfields were renamed 'Daqing' ('Great Celebration'), in reference to the tenth anniversary celebrations.[4][5]

Other regions[edit]

Major parades were also organized in Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Xian, Wuhan, Shenyang and Tianjin.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Peking Review. National Day, 1959. October 6, 1959. No. 40. pp. 4-6
  2. ^ Lin, Xiaoping. Children of Marx and Coca-Cola: Chinese Avant-Garde Art and Independent Cinema. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2010. p. 52
  3. ^ Peking Review. Guests of Honour Present at the Banquet. October 6, 1959. No. 40. pp. 11-12
  4. ^ a b Marius Vassiliou, The A to Z of the Petroleum Industry. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2009. p. 152
  5. ^ People's Republic of China year-book, Vol. 29. 2009. p. 613

External links[edit]