China prepares for Communist Party centenary in secret

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have closed Beijing’s central Tiananmen Square to the public, eight days ahead of a major celebration being planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party. The party will showcase the country’s rise from civil war and disastrous political campaigns to market reforms that have created the world’s second largest economy.  Old habits die hard, however, and arrangements for the July 1 anniversary remain shrouded in secrecy. Around Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and other scenic sites are also closed. Flyovers by air force squadrons suggest an aerial review is in the planning, but authorities have yet to release details. Around China, signboards have been erected and commemorative activities held.