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Overseas Chinese, including those from Hong Kong and Macao, have contributed more than 47 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) in charity donations to Guangdong province over the past three decades, sources with the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Affairs Office say.
The sources say this represents about 60 percent of the nation's overseas donations.
The office, in collaboration with Guangzhou-based Southern Television, held a ceremony last week to present awards to the top 10 overseas Chinese people for charitable contributions to the province's social and economic development.
Badminton star Bao Chunlai, who retired from the national team in September last year, was also given an award.
Under the annual ceremony, launched in 2008, more than 60 overseas Chinese have received awards in the past four years.
Zhao Yufang, vice-governor of Guangdong, said overseas Chinese have become an increasingly important force in the province's charity and public welfare sector.
"They also helped bring in advanced charitable culture and experience, building more than 3,000 public foundations in the province," Zhao said.