Drivers take heed: if you’re planning on using your car or electric scooter in Beijing this weekend, prepare for some serious detours. In preparation for the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, pretty much every major road in the center of the city and extending east to Chaoyang Park (the area roughly outlined in the image above) will be closed down to vehicles, to allow for military parade drills.
Oh, and cancel your plans to visit Tiananmen Square: it’s closed to the public Sep 14 and 15, while the Forbidden City will be completely closed from Sep 21 to Oct 1.
Road closures and restrictions
On Friday, Sep 13, all motor vehicles will be prohibited on Chaoyang Park Road and Workers’ Stadium North and East roads until the rehearsal revelers have passed through.
Beginning Saturday, parking will be prohibited on most major roads north of Qianmen Donglu and south of Dongsixi Dajie within the East and West Second Ring Road, as well as on Workers’ Stadium East Road, Jianguomenwai Dajie, and the roads that run from the Agricultural Exhibition Center to Pinganlixi Dajie (including Workers’ Stadium North, Dongsishitiao, and Di’anmendong Dajie).
By 5pm on Saturday, most major roads north of Qianmen Donglu and south of Dongsixi Dajie within the East and West Second Ring Road will be closed, as will Workers’ Stadium East Road. Most closures will run until the evening of Sep 15, but some closures in the Qianmen area will be in effect until Sep 16.
The drills will also affect subway stops along Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 14:
Saturday, Sep 14
- Dawangsi (Line 2), closed 12.30pm, Sep 14 to midday, Sep 15
- Tiananmen and Tiananmen East (Line 1), closed from 4pm
- Fuxingmen and Guomao (Line 1), Jianguomen, Fuxingmen, and Xuanwumen (Line 2); Xidan and Xuanwumen (Line 4); Dongdan (Line 5); and Guomao (Line 10), closed from 5pm
- Chongwenmen (Line 5), closed from 6pm
- Babao (Line 1); Yuanmingyuan, Peking University, and Renmin University (Line 4); Tiantongyuan Bei, Huixinxijiebeikou, and Songjiazhuang (Line 5), closed 5.30pm to 9.30pm
- Yonghegong (Line 2); Yonghegong and Dengshikou (Line 5), closed 6pm to 10.30pm
- Puhuangyu (Line 5); Beigongdaximen and Puhuangyu (Line 14), closed 6.30pm to 9.30pm
- Haozhuangfu (Line 5/Line6), closed 7pm to 9pm
- Sihuidong (Line 1); Dongsi (Line 5/Line 6), closed 7.30pm to 10pm
- Jishuitan (Line 2), closed 9.30pm to 10.30pm
- Sihui (Line 1), closed 8pm to 10.40pm
Sunday, Sep 15
- Babaoshan (Line 1), closed 2pm to 7.30pm
- Fuxingmen (Line 1/Line2) closed from 2.30pm
- Hepingmen (Line 2), closed from 3pm
- Tiananmen West, Tiananmen East (Line 1); Qianmen Station (Line 2) closed from 4pm
- Huixinxijiekoubeikou (Line 5), closed 4.30pm to 7.30pm
- All stations from Fuxingmen to Jiangruomen (Line 1); Xuanwumen, Jianguomen, and Chongwenmen (Line 2); Xuanwumen and Xidan (Line 4); Dondan and Chongwenmen (Line 5), closed from 5pm
- Songjiazhuang (Line 5); Haojiazhuang (Line 6), closed from 6pm to 8pm
- Dongsi (Line 5/Line 6), closed 7pm to 9pm
If all of this seems a bit confusing, here are the bullet points:
- Try to spend your weekend outside of the area marked in yellow in the image above.
- After the weekend, expect it to be increasingly difficult to circulate in the yellow area, regardless of your mode of transport, until the anniversary has passed. This image was actually first circulated back in 2015 during the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and if that year was anything to go by, the city is going to be locked down, tight.
- At weekends especially, forget that Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City even exist. Just imagine a big, tall, impenetrable wall around the area (like in the olden days!) and don’t try to approach it until after the anniversary.
- Park your car, and dust off the bicycle for the next few weeks.
- Just leave Beijing completely and come back after Golden Week.
Image: Robynne Tindall