On Oct. 1, 1949, Mao Zedong took control of China and proclaimed the nation would be known as the People’s Republic of China. Despite recent economic reforms, the Communist Party has maintained firm control of the country since that day. On Tuesday, Beijing will celebrate its 70th anniversary. It’s a big day — this communist country has managed to survive longer than the Soviet Union. Determined that the day will be observed without anything going wrong, the country’s leadership continues to add to its list of things that will be banned. Verboten are kites, balloons, pigeons, walkie-talkies and drones.
Activists and protesters have been told they are not to even think about protesting or speaking to foreign media. Government websites list words and phrases that also are banned. There will be no fueling your car or motorcycle that day, and forget about having a celebratory drink. In some parts of the country, alcohol has been off-limits since Sept. 15.
A “Happy Birthday” is in order, we suppose, although it sure doesn’t sound like much of a party to us.