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China: Around The Nation

A girl’s best friend: man asks for sweetheart’s hand with a 33-tonne ‘meteorite’

Liu Fei had million yuan to buy a flat, but instead spent it on a very large rock

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 4:02pm

Instead of selecting a precious stone to mount on a ring, a man in far western China has proposed to his girlfriend by unveiling a 33-tonne “meteorite” placed in a public square, a news website reported.

The proposal on Tuesday in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang autonomous region, was successful and attracted a large crowd, according to ChinaNews.com.

The report said the man bought the supposed space boulder for about 1 million yuan (US$144,645), which was originally meant to be a payment for a new flat.

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The man, Liu Fei, invited his friends to help him with his proposal – as he stepped inside a heart symbol shaped by rose petals and he kneeled before his girlfriend, Wang Fangfang, one of his buddies removed the red sheet that covered the giant meteorite.

Liu first stumbled upon the rock when the couple visited the ancient city of Kashgar. Liu heard that a local collector was in possession of an extraterrestrial rock so the couple paid a visit to have a look. Liu asked Wang if she liked it, and she said yes.

To impress Wang, his girlfriend of four years, Liu bought the meteorite and had it placed in a public square in Urumqi two days before his proposal.

Liu said the space rock symbolised a stable and enduring marriage.

He also asked for Wang’s hand at precisely 13:14pm as the numbers pronounced in Chinese sound like “one life, one lifetime” .

Many web users, however, were sceptical that the boulder was really a meteorite. Some even suggested the proposal might have been a publicity gimmick for the property development where the event was staged.

Due to their scarcity, meteorites are highly collectible items and the few very large ones are well known to aficionados around the world. If it truly is a meteor, it would be one of the largest ever found. According to Space.com, the two largest found in China so far – both in the Altai mountains of Xinjiang – weighed between 28 tonnes and 25 tonnes .

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A Weibo user poked fun at the couple and wrote: “One million yuan for a 33-tonne meteorite? What a bargain ... You could cut it into small pieces and sell each for the price of a diamond ... Girl, he’s a keeper!”

Another wrote: “Where are they going to put this rock at their home?” while another asked “are you not concerned about radiation?”

China has seen a number preposterous marriage proposals across the country in recent year. In 2015, a 24-year-old man in Xian proposed to his girlfriend by publically drawing an arrow and two hearts with lychees, while a university student asked his best friend to be his girlfriend by presenting her with 999 pomelos. Both offers were rejected.