BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders offered a rare glimpse of their dancing steps and singing voices Thursday evening as they joined tens of thousands of people at an evening gala celebrating New China's 60th birthday.
Red lanterns, bright lights, 33-minute spectacular fireworks, high-spirited songs and dances turned the Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing into a sea of joy Thursday evening.
Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, joins the grand gala celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, on the Tian'anmen square in central Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
Hu and Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, Zhou Yongkang, as well as many other leaders, incumbent and retired, came to watch the performances from the Tian'anmen Rostrum since 8 p.m. when the gala began.
About 60,000 people dressed in festive costume, including public servants, company workers, university students, servicemen and local residents, took part in the gala eulogizing Chinese people's love for the nation and great unity of all ethnic groups.
Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin (C) joins the grand gala celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, on the Tian'anmen square in central Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2009. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
More than 4,000 performers manipulated computer-controlled LED electronic trees to form a "light cube", which showed the images of olive trees and doves as well as characters including "long live the motherland".
At about 9:20 p.m., Hu, Jiang and other leaders descended the rostrum to join the crowd at the square amid applauses, cheers and fireworks.
To the cheerful and light-hearted rhythm, the leaders and people wearing traditional costumes of different ethnic groups began their group dancing.
Meiha Ay, a Uygur teacher in Beijing, told Xinhua later that she enjoyed the moment of dancing with President Hu hand-in-hand.
"I'm so honored to dance with the leader on behalf of the Uygur people," she said. "We wish the country a better future."
"The solidarity between the Party and people of all ethnic groups is the guarantee of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said Prof. Cai Xia with Party School of the Central Committee of CPC. "The leaders' joining in the festive crowd was of political implication."
"The five-star red flag is fluttering in the wind, the song of victory is sung aloud..." After the dance, the leaders and 60,000 people sang together the patriotic song "Ode to the Motherland".
The chorus brought the square's fervor to a climax and the people had radiant smiles on the face.
Tibetan girl Ngawang Qungji said she was excited that President Hu joined hands with Tibetan and Uygur performers to dance.
"We are just like the members of the same family and celebrate our mother's birthday together," she said.
"There are so many reasons for us to be proud of the great changes over the past 60 years," she said. "I even couldn't help crying when I saw the fireworks portraying a train running on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway lighted the Tian'anmen Square."
Senior Chinese can still remember another touching scene on the evening of the National Day in 1966 when Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, surrounded by a crowd of civilians, sat on the cold ground of the Golden Water Bridge in front of the Tian'anmen Rostrum to enjoy watching the fireworks show with beaming faces.
Behind the close relationship between CPC leaders and the people is the "Mass Line," the fundamental work method of the CPC, which means "all for the masses, all rely on the masses" and "from the masses, to the masses." The "Mass Line" has been cherished by the CPC as a guarantee to achieve victories in its cause.
"Beside sharing the joy of celebration, what touches me more is that the leaders always go to the front line to share people's woes when they are in difficulty," said Chen Yanyan, a Beijing citizen, while watching the televised gala performance.