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Encyclopedia of China Includes Sports Stars
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China's basketball star Yao Ming and Olympic 110m hurdles champ Liu Xiang are both rewarded with entries in the second edition of the Encyclopedia of China, to be published this year.

The new 60-million-word edition of the encyclopedia will stretch over 32 volumes, replacing the first edition published in 1993, sources with the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House said. It will contain 60,000 entries, 30,000 pictures and 1,000 maps.

Chief editor Liu Hang revealed the heated debate that raged between members of the editorial staff over which personalities should be included. The final consensus was to select those "typical personalities with a great influence in their own field and also in history," Liu said.

Popular director Zhang Yimou and China's first astronaut Yang Liwei also find their way into the encyclopedia, but Yi Zhongtian, a currently popular TV lecturer and Wang Shuo, a writer whose words and behaviors have recently triggered fierce debate among netizens, were left out.

(Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2007)

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