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Chinese Climbers Broadcast Live from Mt. Everest Peak - 2003-05-22

Chinese mountain climbers have made a bit of television history, by being the first to broadcast live from the top of Mount Everest in Nepal. The record comes the week before the 50th anniversary of the first ascent up the world's highest peak.

The shaky video pictures show a line of climbers headed up incredibly steep, rocky slopes covered with snow on the world's tallest mountain. It is called Mount Everest in the West, and Qomolangma in Chinese.

At the summit, winds whip snow across the camera footage, and make the red Chinese flag in the picture flap furiously.

The Chinese climbers, dressed in bright yellow and red parkas, were wearing goggles and using oxygen masks.

They were jubilant, but exhausted, and breathless in the thin air at 8,848 meters above sea level.

In the live broadcast, climber Awang Lubo sent "best wishes" to the Chinese people and called the climb a crystallization of solidarity.

Awang and Zhaxi Ciren reached the summit first followed by Nima Ciren. They are Chinese citizens from the Tibetan ethnic group. They were joined by other team members from China and South Korea.

China's President Hu Jintao congratulated the climbers and praised their bravery, persistence, solidarity and team spirit.

The Chinese team started their climb from the north side of the mountain in the Chinese region of Tibet. Many other teams are trying to climb the mountain's southern approach from Nepal, but have encountered strong winds and foul weather.

A record 60 teams are trying to climb the mountain this month to mark the 50th anniversary of the first successful ascent by New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Nepal's Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953.