The Guards of Honor of the People's Liberation Army perform the national flag-raising duty at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, Jan 1, 2018. The responsibility for guarding China's national flag and firing salute cannons at the Tian'anmen Square was transferred to the People's Liberation Army from Jan 1, 2018, as authorized by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Before Jan 1, the ceremony was conducted by the armed police. [Photo/Xinhua] Dozens of members from the People's Liberation Army Guards of Honor raised the national flag at Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing on Monday morning. This move has meant that the PLA has replaced the Armed Police Force to guard the national flag and fire salute cannons, as ordered by the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Saturday. Previously, national flags were raised, lowered and guarded by Armed Police officers at key sites such as government complexes, public squares and memorials. The Armed Police was also responsible for firing cannons at important occasions such as welcome ceremonies for State guests. Around 7:31 am, a group of 96 honor guards, headed by a flag holder and two escort guards, marched out from the central gate of the Tian'anmen Rostrum and walked past two columns of their peers standing across the Chang'an Avenue. They then reached the restricted zone around the flag post and stood in formation. At 7:36 am, an honor guard raised the national flag, which was accompanied by the national anthem played by a PLA band. custom rubber bands
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