blog: the difficult road to reporting on china\'s wwii commemorations
For months, 12,000 soldiers have been practicing their gestures, and their movements are directed by the Chinese.
Just a few hundred metres ahead of us, their last minute rehearsal was very precise and of course patriotic.
Military equipment including fighter jets, attack helicopters, missile launchers and tanks will be on display in a few hours.
As I wrote, 850,000 security personnel and volunteers are being mobilized.
It\'s an impressive parade, to say the least.
My photographer, falciardo Falcione, arrived in Beijing two days ago at the invitation of the Chinese government, just like 1400 other registered media.
But the road to reporting the spectacle is not easy.
Huge security restrictions are in place and we have encountered resistance from the police and the military to try to cover up clues until today.
Hotel security is tight: X-
X-ray machine, metal detector, body check.
Nothing was missed.
Filming has been restricted until this morning, and even now, we are strictly monitored in the designated media area.
Six hours before the event started, we left our hotel and then we went to the scene.
Large areas around Tiananmen Square have actually been closed, and Xi Jinping has declared it a national holiday.
Those who live near the stage are strictly warned to stay away from the windows, while most people in the country are warned.
A total of 3 billion people were banned from the parade route.
To stop pollution from destroying the day, many factories were shut down a few weeks ago and traffic was cut by half.
We arrived at the blue sky in Beijing.
An unusual sight
But most locals will have to watch Xi\'s first military parade on television.
Tensions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea intensified as many Western leaders ignored the incident.
US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be here.
Neither will Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but send Michael rondson, Minister of Veterans Affairs.
Putin and 30 other world leaders will be here to host Xi Jinping in Russia\'s own military parade.
From South Korea to key ally Pakistan
Not surprisingly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not attend, and many believe the military parade is a demonstration by China that Japan refuses to compensate for wartime actions.
One has to suspect that China has rejected the campaign\'s equivalent of showing muscle charges, but is sitting just a few hundred metres away from thousands of soldiers who are still weird, and now they have finished the rehearsal.
This is almost a confusing feeling as the larger media community is waiting for Xi Jinping --
Commander of the world\'s largest Armyto arrive.
The dignitaries have just begun to come in.
As China\'s stock market plunged, the aftermath of the chemical explosion in Tianjin continues, and this is really an opportunity for the president to impress.
One leader insisted that the incident was about reconciliation and healing, but that his own people could not be involved.