Fireworkin' it: A fireworks display rehearsal lights up the Beijing sky on Sept. 12. Last year's Beijing Olympic Games were considered China's coming-out party to the world. This year's National Day celebrations mark an opportunity for the ruling Communist Party to sell a narrative of its good stewardship to the Chinese people, even in the wake of increasing ethnic unrest in western China and global economic uncertainty.
Other photo essays:
?China Turns 60
?China's 30 Years of Economic Overdrive
?For China's Polluting Factories, a Change of Address
Update, Sept. 30: The deck and the captions for photos 3 and 5 were lightly edited for clarity.