Beijing on partial lockdown ahead of Oct. 1 military parade

Major hotels in city center enforce 12-hour curfews prohibiting guests from leaving or entering

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File photo: Xi Jinping oversees military parade in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015

File photo: Xi Jinping oversees military parade in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015 (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China approaches, some tourists staying in central Beijing are reportedly being locked into their hotel rooms on orders of the central government.

With Beijing planning a massive military parade to commemorate the anniversary on Oct. 1, the authorities are taking no chances in their preparations ahead of the big day. As a result, several top hotels in Beijing are enforcing some particularly strict curfews forbidding entry and exit for 12-hour stretches at a time.

Quartz reported on Saturday (Sept. 14) that many foreigners staying in downtown hotels near Tiananmen Square over the weekend received emails notifying them of the temporary lockdown in preparation for the military spectacle. The emails explained that traffic and access to the hotels would be “partially or entirely restricted."

The emails informed visitors with very little notice that the hotels would be on lockdown from 5:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday night. The Diplomat reports that similar rehearsals and lockdowns had been conducted the previous weekend as well.

Additionally, Major Beijing tourist attractions the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square will be off-limits to visitors from Sept. 21 to Oct. 1. According to Shanghaiist, access to nearby tourist spots like the National Museum and Wangfujing shopping area will also be restricted for certain periods in the lead up to the military procession.

The military parade this year is expected to be China’s largest to date, reports Quartz. At least 12,000 soldiers are expected to participate in the event along with various military vehicles.