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Wang Fuzhou, one of first Chinese to scale Mt. Qomolangma, dies at 80

BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Wang Fuzhou, one of the first Chinese to scale Mount Qomolangma in 1960, died in Beijing at the age of 80, Chinese mountaineering association has said in a statement.

Wang has been suffering from cerebral thrombus due to his long-time mountaineering but the statement did not specify whether his death resulted from the illness on Sunday.

Wang captained the Chinese team that also consisted of Qu Yinhua and Konbu to the summit via the North Ridge on May 25, 1960, becoming the first Chinese to stand at the highest peak on earth.

Chinese mountaineering association deputy director Li Zhixin said Wang's death was unexpected.

"He has been suffering from various illness but we did not expect he left so suddenly. We had arranged a vacation for him in our base this week," Li said on Monday.

"He was our hero and a pioneer in Chinese mountaineering history," Li added.

Wang's memorial ceremony will be held on Friday.

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