Chinese secretary crowned Miss World

China celebrates first Miss World crown

They were forbidden for more than fifty years, but now China is celebrating after winning the world’s biggest beauty contest for the first time.

Zhang Zilin, a 23-year-old secretary who is 6ft tall and has a degree in business administration, was crowned Miss World yesterday – three years after Beijing lifted a ban on beauty pageants.

Her coronation was greeted with delight by fans, with her blog receiving over a million hits in one day. One admirer said: ‘You’ve brought honour to our country. We’re all happy for you! We’re proud for China.’

But the response from the Communist Party media was less rapturous. Most official websites and newspapers chose not to print a triumphant photograph of Zhang in a figure-hugging, ruffled evening dress on their front pages.

The contest’s first runner up was Miss Angola and the second, Miss Mexico. All 106 contestants had spent a month in China for the 57th Miss World pageant, which was held at the seaside resort of Sanya.

It is the third year in a row that China has hosted the competition.

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