Planet China

Unusual steppe

You wouldn’t normally associate Genghis Khan with beauty pageants. But according to Miss World organiser Julia Morley, this year’s contestants “are all interested in Genghis Khan”. The reason? The 60th Miss World contest is being held in Erdos, the city that also houses his mausoleum.

Erdos is not known for its glamour. Aside from Genghis, it is famous mostly for its colossal mineral resources, which have made the city rich. Perhaps it’s the wealth that has attracted Morley. This October’s event will be the fifth Miss World on Chinese soil, although all of the previous four have occurred on Hainan Island. The televised pageant helped Hainan to rebrand itself as a chic location (well, in Chinese eyes) and Erdos may be hoping to repeat the trick.


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