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Love knows no borders at embassies' charity sale
By Wang Linyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-09-14 08:19

On a clear, sunny Saturday at Beijing's Olympic Green, Eleni Moutsaki was happily introducing Greek shampoos to passersby.

She was also offering bottles of olive oil, sculptures and pencils decorated with ancient Greek symbols.

Love knows no borders at embassies' charity sale

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, accompanied by Razov Sergey (left), Russian ambassador to China, buys a pumpkin from the Russian booth at a charity sale event in Beijing on Saturday. [China Daily] 

She was just one of the staff from foreign embassies in Beijing taking part in the international "Love Knows No Borders" charity sale at the weekend to aid children in Yunnan province.

"Our goal is to sell everything, get the money and help kids go to school," said Moutsaki, press and communication attache for the Greek embassy.

The sale is the brainchild of Le Aimei, Chinese honorary ambassador for poverty alleviation and wife of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

More than 70 embassies and international organizations set up booths to sell artwork, clothes and food to raise 1 million yuan ($140,000) towards the construction of new schools in Jinping and Malipo counties in Yunnan.

The ministry has been providing assistance to the counties since 1992.

"To get rid of poverty, we must first put an end to ignorance," said Le at the opening ceremony.

United States Ambassador John Huntsman, who joined his family to sell used books at the US stall, said: "We are working hard today to pursue a common cause - school children in Yunnan. It's very inspiring."

European Union Ambassador Serge Abou added: "I'm simply here to do it for friendship. We should do more like this."

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On display at the Japanese embassy's three booths were fabrics, lollipops with comic prints, sushi and cakes. Katayama Yukari, wife of the embassy's economic minister Katayama Kazuki, said she started preparing for the event two months ago and even made the Japanese pancakes herself.

"We want to show our love to the children. We also hope Chinese people learn about Japanese culture through these products," she said.

Students from Yunnan also traveled to the capital to take part in traditional folk dancing performances.

For Yang Xixi, an early education center worker who said she bought books, Peru pins and Albanian earrings, it was a wonderful day.

"It is very worthwhile," said the 26-year-old. "I can not only show my love but also tour the world in just one day."