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People queue for Party congress souvenir stamps

LOCALS stood in a 100-meter-long queue outside the Shanghai Philatelic Corporation this morning to buy commemorative stamps celebrating the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Some stamp collectors said they had waited in line since Tuesday to make sure they can get the stamps. Some even used their annual leave for the purpose.

Many Chinese regard commemorative stamps as a form of investment because the stamps will appreciate in value after a few years and can sell for profit in the stamp market.

China Post issued a set of two stamps and a sheetlet to mark the opening of the 18th CPC National Congress in Beijing today.

One stamp shows a Shenzhou spacecraft, a symbol of China's scientific progress under the leadership of the Communist Party; the other depicts a pigeon flying over the Great Wall, meaning the Party will move forward toward new future.

Both stamps have a face value of 1.2 yuan (US$0.19).

China Post Shanghai Branch said 150,000 sets of stamps went on sale in 80 post offices across the city at 8am and were sold out within two hours. Each customer was limited to four sets and one sheetlet.

Zhang Xipeng, a 90-year-old resident, was the first to get the stamps. "I came here as early as 7am but there were already 20 people ahead of me," Zhang said. "They were so nice that the first person in the line gave his place to me."

"The opening of the 18th Party National Congress is a big event of the country. Without the Communist Party, we wouldn't have lived such a happy life today," the old man said.


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