BEIJING has declared its weather-fighting forces will ensure no rain falls on October's National Day parade, which will mark the 60th year of Communist Party rule.

Zhang Qiang, the deputy head of the city's ''Weather Modification'' office, told state media that anti-rain rockets would be ready for the celebration. President Hu Jintao will oversee an enormous military parade in Tiananmen Square.

''From weather records for the National Day in Beijing in the past three decades, we see a 30 per cent chance of rainfall, mostly drizzle,'' said Guo Hu, head of the Beijing meteorological bureau.

Before the Olympic Games last year, Beijing fired 1104 anti-rain rockets from 21 sites around the capital to ward off an approaching rain belt. The rockets ''seed'' clouds with chemicals such as silver iodide in order to disperse them.

Whether or not the rockets work is still a matter of debate. Mr Zhang said the rockets could disperse some clouds but not prevent a large storm.

Ye Qian, the assistant president of the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, said there was no effective way to change the weather. ''Artificial rain reduction is like boiling water. If you want to stop the boiling, you must turn off the fire before it reaches the boiling point. But we just cannot find the point,'' he said.

The Communist Party is focusing all its efforts on the 60th anniversary celebrations and hotel rooms across Beijing have already been booked out for the thousands of visiting officials from across the country.

Telegraph, London