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Action star Jet Li attended a charity banquet in China last week to raise money for the victims of the devastating Sichuan earthquake that struck in May.

Held in the glitzy Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing, the evening was sponsored by Swiss watchmaker DeWitt and Jet Li’s One Foundation, an organization the star established after the 2004 Asian tsunami to help victims of natural disasters. Legendary film director John Woo and the cast of his upcoming blockbuster film Red Cliff – including Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro – also attended the banquet.

Li has spent the last few months campaigning for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, and is declining all movie roles in 2008 to focus on his charity work.

A documentary about the disaster relief efforts of the One Foundation was shown during the banquet, after which Jet Li stated that the One Foundation had launched a plan for post-quake reconstruction. He called on everyone to donate one yuan per month to help the victims.

The evening raised 1 million yuan (US$147,000) for the Chinese Red Cross.

Also in Asia recently, Taiwanese pop singer Keung Hang has launched a new charity to help students, in association with the Shanghai Charity Foundation.

The new fund – Traces of Love – will help disadvantaged primary and middle school students, as well as students who suffer from serious diseases in China.

The first donation – 500,000 yuan (US$71,428) – was provided by Daphne Shoes.

“I think I should do something for them, but my own power is not strong enough to help all the needy students,” said Keung. “So I want to urge more people to help.”

The singer plans to expand the fund to include secondary and college students as more donations roll in.

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