BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The open-roofed Red Flag limousine in which President Hu Jintao rode to review the armed forces Thursday morning had a plate number V-02009.
It "coincided" with the year 2009, the 60th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
Lt.-Gen. Fang Fenghui, general director of the military parade who invite Hu to begin his review, rode in the same black Red Flag car to accompany the president.
Fang's car plate read V-01949.
On Oct.1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The Red Flag fleet used in parades, although very limited in customized production by the First Automobile Work (FAW), is a symbol of China's independent automobile industry.
The bullet-proof parade car is 6.4 meters long, 2.05 meters wide and 1.72 meters high, and carries a 12-cylinder engine.
Ten years ago, another Red Flag for former President Jiang Zemin to review the National Day parade had a plate number A-02156.
The number "coincided" with the 56 ethnic groups in China. The National Day parade in 1999 had a theme of China's marching into the 21st century.
The state-owned FAW Group Corporation, now running a few joint ventures with General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota, was one of the major industrial projects designed by the PRC's first five-year plan (1953 - 1957).
According to Guo Shijun, director of FAW's manufacturing department of Red Flag, the parade car fleet were all handcrafted products.
"The car's engine mask details some traditional Chinese cultural elements. Its taillights adopts the shape of palace lantern. All these fully demonstrate the nation's cultural identity," said Guo.
Many Chinese eye Red Flag sedan as the spirit of independent innovation, self-confidence and pride, rather than a mere luxury car.
The Red Flag parade cars were first adopted in the National Day parade in 1959. Before that, Chinese leaders and commanders reviewed the troops riding in either captured U.S.-made jeeps or heavily-armored Soviet-made open-air wagons.