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Nation's Pavilion Highlights Progress

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China's National Pavilion Day provided one of the highlights on Friday of Expo 2010 with a ceremony to mark the 61st anniversary of the republic.

The Shanghai ceremony was one of many held across the country to mark National Day.

In Beijing, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao laid flowers on Friday morning at the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tian'anmen Square to pay their respects to those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

In Shanghai, top legislator Wu Bangguo, international leaders and celebrities marked China National Pavilion Day at the Expo.

In his address to the ceremony, Wu said China has every reason to believe that Expo will be remembered as a successful and unforgettable event.

"Although it will end in one month's time, the spirit of progress, innovation, harmony and common prosperity advocated by the Expo will long endure," he said.

Vicente Loscertales, secretary-general of the Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE), said China had made history and set new standards for World Expos including the largest number of participants and visitors, as well as the biggest Expo site.

"Since China was awarded Expo 2010 by the BIE, it has demonstrated a genuine commitment," he said.

China has risen to meet the global challenge of improving the quality of urban life by making it the theme of its Expo, Loscertales added.

In the past five months, the Expo gathered participants from 246 countries, regions, and international organizations. Almost 60 million visitors came to the Expo from home and abroad.

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