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Millions Mark Lunar New Year

HONG KONG (voa) – China staged huge fireworks displays, and state TV ran hours of patriotic shows featuring costumed children waving Chinese flags.

Prime Minister Zhu Rongji declared 2001 a year of great accomplishment – a reference to China’s admission to the World Trade Organization and its successful bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Hong Kong ushered in the “Year of the Horse” with a grand parade, complete with dragon floats and lion dancers. The occasion was also marked in Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, North Korea and Vietnam, and by ethnic Chinese and others around the world.

There have also been prayers for a more peaceful new year. Like the rest of the world, much of Asia struggled this past year to recover from an economic slump made worse by the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

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