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Macao's Fever for China's First Astronaut Propels Donations to Space Tech

The swirl trip of China's first astronaut Yang Liwei in Macao, which ended Thursday afternoon, waged a heat of donations to the research and development of China's space technology.

Money donated by Macao residents before and during Yang's two-day visit added up to US$1.75 million, according to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), which received the donation on behalf of the central government.

Bai Zhijian, director of the office said that the donation from Macao compatriots will be transferred to the China Space Foundation.

Prior to this, China's mainland-funded enterprises in Macao made a total donation of US$78,000 for the same purpose.

The Delegation of China's First Manned Space Mission, which included Yang, began the visit to Hong Kong on Oct. 31, and continued the trip to Macao on Wednesday. It had a tight schedule in taking part in a series of activities to meet people of all walks of life in Macao and give speeches on China's first manned space mission. Yang was admired and treated as a star hero wherever he went.

The Exhibition of China's First Manned Space Mission, where there-entry Shenzhou-5 capsule, the astronaut's space suit and food and the parachute was put on show here Wednesday afternoon, will continue to open till Friday noon. Some 60,000 people visited the show since its opening on Wednesday.

With a population of only 450,000, such enthusiasm for a show was unprecedented in Macao.

(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2003)

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