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Children Make Donations Towards Beijing Green Belt
After hearing about the sandstorms which recently swept Beijing, children of Jinan in east China's Shandong Province have started donating their pocket money to help establish a green sand break for the nation's capital.

Sun Xiaolei, a 12-year-old student from Shenglidajie Primary School in Shandong, said, "The best way to combat sandstorms is toplant more trees and grasses."

Sun has already given 10 yuan (US$1.2) from his savings and plans to donate more.

Primary school student Wang Ying said, "If everybody did something, the sky in Beijing would be bluer and the water cleaner."

Wan Changming and Qin Xiuling, who have a three-year-old son, have promised an annual donation of 100 yuan (US$12) up until the 2008 Olympic Games open.

"If possible, we will go to Beijing with our son to see the ‘new look’ Beijing as well as the Great Olympics," they said.

Liu Huiyan, secretary of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, who proposed the donation scheme, said that it is important to all Chinese for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to be successful.

"The point to the program is not how much money the children donate but how much it increases their environmental awareness," he said.

Currently, over 220,000 yuan (US$26,506) has been donated by people from all walks of life.

According to Liu, the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League is having talks with its counterpart in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and plans are afoot to plant a green belt in the region to prevent the desert from spreading.

The green belt which will cover 1,000 mu (about 164.7 acres), is expected to be completed in seven years.

(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2002)

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