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UPDATED: 17:12, January 07, 2005
China's Red Cross collects 5.4 million US dollars for tsunami victims
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The Red Cross Society of China had collected 5.4 million US dollars of donations by Thursday afternoon for tsunami-hit victims and is ready to send 2 million US dollars to the four countries of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand in the next one or two days.

"Indonesia and Sri Lanka will each receive 600,000 US dollars, the Maldives 500,000 US dollars and Thailand 300,000 US dollars," the China Daily reported Friday, citing Red Cross spokesman Wang Xiaohua.

The moneys will be distributed to local Red Cross societies through Chinese embassies. "Since the Maldives has no such organization, we will hand over the money to authorities there," said Wang.

By 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon the Red Cross of China had collected a total of around 45 million yuan (5.4 million US dollars). The China Charity Federation, meanwhile, reported donations of 30 million yuan (3.6 million US dollars) as of Thursday.

China's top entertainers also staged an unprecedented charity show Thursday night for the aid to tsunami victims at Beijing's Workers Stadium, which drew an enthusiastic and magnanimous crowd, raising an as yet uncounted sum for the victims of the tsunami catastrophe.

It was announced during the show that the largest corporate donor was China National Petroleum Corporation, which had raised more than 12.56 million yuan (1.5 million US dollars). While the largest individual giver was Zeng Wei, a Beijing real-estate developer, who, together with his wife, chipped in 1 million yuan (120,000 US dollars).

The event was hastily organized by a group of Beijing-based performing artists, including the director of the current box office hit "World Without Thieves," Feng Xiaogang.

"We only had three days to organize the whole thing. I wish we had more time," said Meng Xin, one of the show's producers.

Guan Mucun, a singer originally from Tianjin, said that mainland artists have the same big heart as their Hong Kong cousins. "What we need is someone to stand up and call the shots."

Zhang Yimou, world famous director of China, was not part of the event but news was leaked that he had become the largest donor from the mainland's entertainment industry with 300,000 yuan (362,000 US dollars).

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