Wuhan/Beijing/Hong Kong — On January 18, about six weeks after China’s deadly coronavirus started to spread in Wuhan, the city’s Baibuting district was preparing for its annual mass banquet. On the 20th anniversary of the event, the organisers would be attempting to break a world record for the largest number of dishes served.

Long tables in 10 locations were laid out with a total of 13,986 dishes, some bearing patriotic names such as Motherland in My Heart (cucumber and ham), and One Belt One Road (vegetable salad). The platters were prepared by members of about 40,000 families, according to media reports, with many of them showing up to eat the food and smile for the cameras.

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