In a wave of symphaty for the victims of the Sichuan, China earthquake a fund drive by a galaxy of Hong Kong entertainers has raised 220 million Hong Kong dollars (US$28.2 million).
The local TVB station brought together Andy Lau, Gigi Leung, Jacky Cheung, and Joey Yung as well as 60 other stars for a mass fund-raising event on Saturday, just five days after the devastating earthquake jolted Sichuan Province, killing at least 28,881 people.
Donation calls poured in as stars performed heart-warming songs and expressed confidence that the ongoing battle against the disaster would ultimately be successful.
The show was planned to run for three hours, but was extended an extra hour until midnight because of the flood of donations coming through the hotline.
"We want to tell our brothers and sisters in Sichuan that you are never alone," Eric Tsang, actor and honorary president of the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild, was quoted by Xinhua news agency. "Hong Kong people are always ready to help," he added.
TVB’s centenarian executive chairman Sir Run Run Shaw, who had recently been discharged from hospital, arrived on the scene to encourage donations. Earlier reports say Sir Run Run Shaw personally donated 100 million Hong Kong dollars to the earthquake relief efforts.
Meanwhile in Singapore, the government leads various sectors in responding to the call for more funds to benefit the quake victims. Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo met in Beijing Friday with visiting Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yong-Boon Yeo, expressing appreciation for Singapore’s aid for earthquake victims.
Yeo, on behalf of the Singaporean government and people, extended condolences and sympathy for the Chinese people, saying that the Singaporean people was ready to stand by the Chinese people’s side to offer help within capacity.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Monday afternoon. The confirmed death toll in Sichuan was 19,509 by 4 p.m. Thursday, and more than 50,000 people were feared dead.
Singapore on Wednesday announced it will donate 200,000 U.S. dollars to China. The Chinese government has accepted rescue aid offers from Singapore.
State Councilor Dai Bingguo briefed Yeo on Sichuan’s disaster relief work, and expressed appreciation for Singapore’s aid.
Dai believed that under the leadership of the Chinese government, the Chinese people will be sure to overcome this serious disaster.
Dai and Yeo also exchanged views on the China-Singapore relations, saying that China was willing to push forward the relations with Singapore, in a bid to benefit the two peoples.
Yeo was here on a visit to China from May 14 to 18 at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.