BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Erdos, a small industrial town in Inner Mongolia, is today best known for its mineral resources and cashmere, but it may soon become connected with something very different.
Announcing the 60th Miss World contest in Sanya, Hainan province, this October, Julia Morley, chairperson of the beauty contest, said the competition would like to cooperate with more Chinese cities in future, and the next stop is Erdos.
"Erdos is a new place. The city government is trying very hard to plant beautiful pine trees that promise lungs full of healthy air. It also has a famous history. We are all interested in Genghis Khan. Besides, it's a very important change from Sanya. Miss World would love to meet different cultures and learn from them," she says.
If Erdos is new to the beauty contest, Sanya is too familiar. Created by Eric Morley in 1951, the Miss World pageant has been held in Sanya four times - in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007 respectively.
Morley admits the committee has a special relationship with Sanya. She says the city is like a friend, and holding the competition feels like choosing a friend and working with her.
"It's a spiritual home for Miss World - beautiful hotels, freedom to work on the beaches, welcoming people, all kinds of sports, safety it has many attributes," she says.
Besides Sanya and Erdos, Morley is interested in other Chinese cities too to host the contest, her criteria being a rich history, warm people, and beautiful scenery.
Till 2008 the New Silk Road Modeling Agency's CEO Li Xiaobai helped the organizing committee stage the shows, but Morley is cooperating with the Sanya government this time.
"Li chose them (competitors) from models - nothing wrong with that - but we want to run a proper show. We also want to do fundraising ... we want to go out and select from all over China, not just from one place. We want to give opportunities to girls who are not models," Morley says.
She thinks highly of Chinese contestants and remembers clearly Li Bing, the first Chinese girl who made it into the top five, and Zhang Zilin, who was Miss World in South Africa in 2007.
While the first Chinese girls who participated in the beauty contest showed more "Western" qualities, they were now more "Chinese", according to the modeling agency's Li.
Morley agrees, saying she was impressed not just by Zhang's Asian face, but also her Peking Opera performances.
Source: China Daily
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