Chinese air force's long march

When Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing on October 1, 1949, the country had just 17 military aircraft. Legend has it that this little fleet — nine fighters, two bombers, three carriers, one communication plane and two trainers — overflew Tiananmen Square twice each to give the jubilant masses the impression they had an air force. The next month, on November 11, 1949, Mao proclaimed the People’s Liberation Army (Air Force) as a separate service. How things have changed! The PLA (AF) is now a 400,000-person force that flies.....

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