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September 10, 2009

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Mao death anniversary attracts massive crowds

MORE than 20,000 people visited Mao Zedong's Mausoleum at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing yesterday, the 33rd anniversary of the death of the former Chinese leader.

The figure was almost double the average of regular days, showing people's respect for the man who led the nation to found New China in 1949 and served as top leader until he died on September 9, 1976, said Chu Fengming, an employee of the mausoleum.

Wang Yetang was in a long queue outside the building about 7:30am. "I've been waiting for many years to come to Beijing to see him," said Wang, 65, of Jiangxi Province in east China.

Visitors began to enter the hall at 8am and some wept while looking at Mao's body preserved in a crystal casket.

In Mao's faraway birthplace of Shaoshan village in Hunan Province, crowds gathered at Mao Zedong Square yesterday, paying silent tribute to his 6-meter bronze statue.


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