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China: Rain, rain go away for National Day

 Workers stand on the scaffoldings during renovation work on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, Monday, Aug 24, 2009. The China Daily newspaper reporte...
 A Chinese paramilitary officer, second left, a policeman, third left, and two security guards watch tourists near Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, M...

China National Day

Workers stand on the scaffoldings during renovation work on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, Monday, Aug 24, 2009. The China Daily newspaper reporte...

China National Day

A Chinese paramilitary officer, second left, a policeman, third left, and two security guards watch tourists near Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, M...

China's huge plans for its 60th anniversary in October don't include bad weather _ and its weather modification bureau has been charged with keeping the rain away for the all-important date, state media reported.
"Artificial rain reduction" measures will be in place for the Oct. 1 National Day holiday, the official China Daily reported Monday, citing Zhang Qiang, deputy of the Beijing Weather Modification Office.
Similar actions were undertaken last year during the Olympic Games, when Beijing fired off 1,100 silver iodide rockets to disperse rain on the eve of the opening ceremony. Chinese officials claimed the rockets succeeded in holding off a rain belt that threatened to reach the capital and drench the ceremony.
China has been experimenting with weather modification for decades, using a technique known as cloud-seeding to induce rainfall ahead of a planned event to ensure clear skies when the event takes place, though international scientists say there has never been proof that such methods produce results.
Zhang said the rain reduction measures have been shown to be effective in reducing regional weather, but it cannot affect large-scale weather trends, the China Daily said.
Historically, weather records indicate a 30 percent chance of rain on Oct. 1 in years past. Zhang's office said it will attempt to modify the weather only if rain is forecast in the days leading up to the anniversary.
This fall's celebration, to be held in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, will begin with a keynote address from President Hu Jintao followed by a military parade and performances involving 200,000 people, 60 floats, and fireworks.