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Shanghai World Expo Wins Overseas Applause

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For Lin Xuewen, secretary-general of United Chinese Associations of Eastern US, "incredible" is the best word to describe his experiences at the Shanghai World Expo.

"It was incredible to see the video played in the multimedia exhibition of the China Pavilion about China's vast migration from rural to urban areas over the past 30 years. I felt so overwhelmed by the incredible changes as if I was riding a time machine. Truly amazing," recalled Lin.

Lin has been living in New York for more than three decades. He went to China to attend the Shanghai Expo in May. He said the rapid urban development in Shanghai was "incredible."

"Look at the skyscrapers along the streets and skyline at night. It is even better than the New York City night view," he said.

The biennial Expo opened on May 1 in Shanghai for a six-month run under the theme of "Better City, Better Life," with some 190 countries and 50 international organizations participating.

The number of visitors to the Shanghai World Expo has exceeded 70 million, breaking the previous record set during the 1970 Osaka World Expo in Japan, which attracted 64 million people.

The China Pavilion, named "The Crown of the East," has become increasingly popular since the opening of the World Expo, with a daily average of 50,000 visitors.

"Some U.S. friends who visited the Shanghai Expo told me that they realized China not only has good food or great Kung-fu, but rich cultural heritage and modern technology. So it would be great if more foreigners could go to China for a visit. Seeing is believing," said Lin.

William H. Su, president of Chinese Merchants Association in New York, visited the Shanghai Expo also in May. He was impressed by the grand architecture of different styles as well as the helpful staff and volunteers there.

"The Shanghai Expo proved to the world that a developing country can also hold such a successful World Expo. I am so proud of it. The Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo showed China's rising influence in the world," he said.

Elizabeth Wishnick, Associate Professor of Montclair State University in the US state of New Jersey, felt the Shanghai Expo- bound subway was quite convenient when she traveled to Shanghai in July. She could still recall the passion and hospitality of people in Shanghai. She also gave a different take of the long queues in front of each pavilion.

"I think it reflected that Chinese people are eager to know foreign cultures and history. The Shanghai Expo is a window for ordinary Chinese to be exposed to different cultures across the world. This will help deepen cultural understandings and solve the disputes caused by economy and politics," she said.

Dr. Wishnick noted that Shanghai has already enjoyed a great reputation in the global community. The Shanghai Expo furthermore raised the cultural profile of Shanghai on the global stage.

Elizabeth Economy, Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, said though she had not been able to attend the Shanghai Expo, she knew it was well-received in the United States based on her friends' feedbacks and news reports.

"The Shanghai Expo displays China's cultural variety and fosters mutual understandings between Chinese and foreign people. It helps foreigners know more about a vivid China," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2010)


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