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July 21, 2009

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Citizens vote for heroes who shaped a nation

CHINA has launched a campaign to vote for the country's role models, with candidates coming from a wide spectrum of social sectors including the first Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, basketball star Yao Ming and kung fu master Jackie Chan.

The government campaign, part of a drive to promote patriotism on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, will ask voters to choose 100 candidates from 150 as "heroes and role models who made outstanding contributions to the founding of the People's Republic of China," according to the campaign's organizing committee.

The 150 candidates, most of whom were Chinese revolutionaries born before 1949, also included foreigners such as Henry Norman Bethune (1980-1939), a Canadian physician known for his service with the Communist Party of China during the World War II and Edgar Snow (1905-1972), an American journalist who interviewed Chairman Mao Zedong and spent 13 years in China.

Another list of 150 role models, which includes athletes, entertainers, writers, scholars and quake-relief heroes, comprises the candidates for "100 people who have moved China since its founding."

Yang Liwei, Yao Ming and Jackie Chan are on the list which includes the world champion China women's national volleyball team of the 1980s, film director Zhang Yimou and Lin Hao, the 11-year-old boy applauded for his heroic behavior during the Sichuan earthquake.

Registered citizens can vote online, via mobile phone or by forms cut from newspapers during the campaign, which is due to end on August 10.


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