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Thank you Sun Li!

While Gill and our UK team were battling the wilds of Dartmoor in the UK, I was in Beijing with Lucky, Sailing, Jacky, Toby and Fan Dang, celebrating an incredible event for the bears — starring Chinese celebrity and superstar, Sun Li.

Over 400 people were in the audience at an event staged at the Capital Library in Beijing. The audience included other celebrities such as Wei Xue, Xie Zheng and a multitude of media, with representatives from animal welfare groups such as IFAW, Capital Welfare Association, Roots and Shoots and Low Carbon Earth as well as Zhangdan, who has achieved so much for animal welfare in China, and Wei Xue, who has helped us so much recently and runs her own PR company and the Asian Women Development Association. Government officials were there too and, of course, some delighted members of Sun Li’s Chinese fan club. 

Hosted by famous anchorman Zhang Bin, the event saw speeches by Sun Li and myself, with a moving introduction by members of Sun Li’s fan club, who sang a beautiful song accompanied by our very own Moonie played by Jacky who, (apart from Sun Li of course) totally stole the show.

The group, Low Carbon Earth had helped to organise students to paint several beautiful oil paintings of our bears — and also one that featured Sun Li, which we gave to her during the event as a gift.

Sun Li spoke to the audience about bear farming and her disgust with caging and exploiting bears for their bile. She then moved on to animal welfare in general. Several of the journalists obviously wanted to know more about the “real” Sun Li and, at one point, she was asked whether she was worried that she would miss out on all the benefits of commercial advertising if she said no to animal products, including bear bile and fur. Sun Li shot right back, saying she would never think of promoting products that caused animal suffering and had, in fact, refused to appear in an advertisement just one day before she was supposed to sign the contract because she found out that one item of clothing she was to wear had a fur collar. 

Not surprisingly, this statement won a rapturous round of applause from the audience before Sun Li, our External Affairs Director Toby, Education Manager Lucky and I were interviewed by anchorman Zhang Bin about the horrors of bear farming.

The finale saw gifts exchanged on stage, and the unveiling of a massive poster calling on everyone to “rescue black bears and give up using bear bile”.

In the venue itself — the amazing Capital Library — a painting exhibition featuring our bears lined the corridors before and after the event so supporters and the general public could both understand the horrors of bear farming and admire our beautiful rescued bears. 

Jacky, who played Moonie, also played an enormous part in having this organised and the pictures were obviously doing their job, as the visitors stopped and discussed the bears’ plight.

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