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Chinese tycoon treats New York homeless to luxury lunch; hopes to disprove stereotype

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FILE: Chinese businessman and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao is seen during an interview.Reuters

A Chinese tycoon is set to feed hundreds of homeless New Yorkers some fancy food -- in Central Park.

The Wednesday lunch for 250 residents of a Manhattan shelter will be served at the Boathouse restaurant.

Recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao has selected a menu of sesame-seed-encrusted tuna, beef filet and berries with crΦme fraiche. He also plans to regale his guests by singing "We are the World." And he has promised each guest $300.

Chen says he wants to disprove the cliche image of rich Chinese spending money mostly on luxuries.

"I was not born into a rich family or a family of government officials. When I was 4 years old my brother and sister died of hunger"

"I was not born into a rich family or a family of government officials. When I was 4 years old my brother and sister died of hunger, so I achieved my success through confidence, self-motivation and my hard work," Chen said in Chinese in an interview on "CBS This Morning."

He then launched into an a cappella rendition of "We are the World."

Chen is partnering on the event with the New York City Rescue Mission, the oldest shelter in the nation.

"Our thought was if someone wants to treat them to an amazing event -- something they would never experience on their own, maybe even a kernel of hope that life could be different again, we're in for that reason. That's our motive," said the mission's executive director, Craig Mayes.

But Chen's American ambitions surpass philanthropy.

Earlier this year, the 46-year-old businessman wanted to buy The New York Times. Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., said the newspaper was not for sale.

To announce the lunch, Chen placed ads in the Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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