China raises 310 million yuan for Taiwan storm victims (update-1)
Central News Agency
2009-08-21 02:53 PM
Adds details Beijing, Aug. 21 (CNA) Houston Rockets center Yao Ming called for Chinese people around the world via a televised message Thursday to contribute to post-Typhoon Morakot relief efforts to help victims of the deadliest storm in Taiwan in 50 years.

Speaking during a star-studded fundraiser telethon that took place in Beijing Thursday to raise funds for Taiwanese storm victims, Yao expressed his deepest sympathy to families who lost their loved ones or their homes.

Yao, currently recovering from a foot injury at his U.S. home, said the damage wreaked by Morakot was beyond imagination and prediction, but said that "we people finally conquer each devastating disaster with empathy and compassion for each other." At least 310 million Chinese yuan (US$45 million) were raised for the typhoon victims in the four-hour telethon co-sponsored by Shanghai Dragon TV and leading television stations in five provinces.

Over 100 movie and athletic stars, as well as notable figures from China's political, cultural, business and entertainment sectors, served as operators to receive phone calls from donors.

China's Red Cross Society and Beijing's intermediary body with Taiwan, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, also pitched in with the fundraiser, the largest of its kind for disaster victims on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

The fundraiser linked six locations in Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Changsha, Shenzhen and Chengdu during the direct broadcast, which also broadcast the donations committed by donors in the six cities.

"The actual amount of donations is still being calculated, " said a Shanghai Dragon TV spokesman.

Among the groups that performed during the fundraiser was a Taiwanese aboriginal group led by Legislator Kao Chin Su-mei. The group, wearing traditional tribal garb, danced and sang songs, including "We are One Family." Speaking at the function, a visibly moved Kao Chin said that "we don't feel lonely any longer with your care." (By Chang Ming-kun and Deborah Kuo)

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