China will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule on Tuesday with flowers, speeches, performances and a massive military parade through central Beijing.

The 70 years since the end of the civil war, in which the communists and Kuomintang fought to control territory vacated by the invading Japanese, have been tumultuous.

China went through wrenching social changes as it veered from a planned economy to a failed experiment with radical collectivization to today's free-wheeling, often messy mix of bare-knuckled competition and crony capitalism, all supervised by the Communist Party.