China gave away over 620,000 TVs ahead of its big military parade

China’s 70th anniversary military parade will be widely watched.
China’s 70th anniversary military parade will be widely watched.
Image: Wang Zhao/Pool via REUTERS
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China wants images from its upcoming military parade to be inescapable. To that end, it’s given away over 620,000 TVs.

The Communist Party of China will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its rule on Oct. 1, most notably with a parade expected to showcase some of the world’s most advanced missiles, drones, and other weapons. But what good is a massive display of power if not everyone sees it?

With that in mind, authorities are donating the 32-inch LCD TVs—made by a domestic brand, of course—to ensure that poor Chinese households can’t miss the proceedings, according to Xinhua.

It’s hard to imagine a Western government doing that. Then again, in China the media is controlled by the state, so Beijing has a vested interest in ensuring content it’s approved is as widely seen as possible.

What’s more, Chinese leader Xi Jinping seems to have a thing for parades—and for being seen in them. State media showed him overseeing a parade in sand-swept Inner Mongolia in 2017 and the country’s biggest-ever display of naval power last year in the South China Sea.

For anyone living in mainland China, images of him overseeing next week’s parade will be even harder to escape.