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Shanghai World Expo to Be Remembered Forever

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The Shanghai World Expo, which has attracted feverish attention from around the world, closes its curtain on Sunday after receiving a record 73 million visitors, who are joined by numerous more bidding a reluctant farewell to one of the most memorable Expos in history.

China has realized its century-old dream of hosting the event. And at the 184-day grand gala, China and other countries from around the world eagerly showcased their history and culture.

The Shanghai World Expo, the first held in a developing country in the event's 159-year history, set one record after another in terms of the number of participating countries or regions, the size of the Expo park, and the number of visitors.

The spectacular exhibitions of the Shanghai Expo provided the world with enormous enjoyment and enlightenment. The Expo will be remembered for its splendidness and gloriousness.

The ideas of pluralism, harmony, tolerance, originality and co-existence that the Shanghai Expo has upheld will carry on, transcending time and space, and become the most treasured assets for mankind.

The spiritual and physical legacy that the Expo leaves behind will inspire and encourage people to carry on and create an even brighter future in the post-Expo era.

World Cheers for China

The Shanghai World Expo was held at a time when the world was oveshadowed by the global financial crisis. The Chinese government, displaying tremendous courage, pooled the efforts of the whole nation and the wisdom of the whole world, building confidence and hope.

Under the theme of "Better City, Better Life," the Shanghai Expo drew 246 participating nations and international organizations at the largest ever world fair site of 5.28 square kilometers.

Latvia's President Valdis Zatlers said the Shanghai Expo has surpassed all his expectations.

It mixed history with a modern world perfectly, conjoined the present and the future and built a bridge between the Oriental and the Occident, he said.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said the Shanghai Expo had achieved many successes, which brought benefit to not only China but also the whole world.

Latvian Education and Science Minister Tatjana Koke lauded China's organization work, saying it was incredible that the Shanghai Expo could receive as many as one million visitors a day.

For Lin Xuewen, secretary-general of United Chinese Associations of Eastern U.S., "incredible" is the most often used word in describing his experience 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.

"Some U.S. friends who visited the Shanghai Expo told me that they realized that China not only has good food or great Kung-fu, but rich cultural heritage and modern technology," said Lin.

Diversified culture gathers in Shanghai Expo

A Chinese saying goes, "a single flower does not make a spring." In the modern world, not a single culture can survive on its own. The Shanghai World Expo provides a stage for a rich assortment of cultures in the world to manifest their diversity.

In the Expo park, all countries, east or west, poor or rich, can exchange, learn from each other and appreciate each other on an equal footing.

The multimedia scroll painting, the Riverside Scene at the Qingming Festival, at the China Pavilion, the "moon boat" at the Saudi Pavilion, the "seed cathedral" at the UK Pavilion, as well as the modern paintings at the Tunisian Pavilion, the Pharaoh's gold mask at the Egypt Pavilion, the "kite forest" at the Mexican Pavilion, and the delicate wooden sculptures at the Palau Pavilion were all displayed fully and equally.

Latvian Education and Science Minister Tatjana Koke told Xinhua that the Shanghai Expo provided a chance for people to know more about the world.

Thanks to the Expo, visitors had a chance to experience different cultures and get a glimpse of the whole world in a matter of a day or so, she said.

The event also served as a platform for the world's entrepreneurs to carry out cooperation and exchanges, the minister added.

Frank Huang, editor-in-chief of Global Chinese Press in Vancouver, said it is significant for China to host such a grand event.

Describing the Shanghai World Expo as a platform for the meeting between eastern and western cultures, Huang said: "The current world expo is actually hosted in a developing country with an oriental ancient civilization, while the world expo itself happens to be the outcome of the Industrial Revolution, representing the western modern civilization. So the exchange interaction between the eastern and western civilizations has been obviously indicated in the current world expo."

"China has done a wonderful job to make the event so popular among the public," he said.

After visiting the Shanghai Expo, Elizabeth Wishnick, an associate professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey, said the Shanghai Expo is a "window for ordinary Chinese to be exposed to different cultures across the world."

In the Expo park, people can see a world that is diverse and colorful.

In the face of the trend of globalization, all nations can only reach the goal of common development and common prosperity by showing tolerance for each other and co-existing in harmony.

Rich legacy of Shanghai Expo to reach far and deep

The world expo is like a sowing machine in the intellectual world and also a promoter in the cause of social progress.

The theme of the World Expo, "Better City, Better Life," has distinctive features of the modern times. It raised questions as to how to cope with industrialization, climate change, population growth and security and disseminated the ideas concerning future cities.

For the first time in expo history, Shanghai created a pavilion designed for the disabled, called the Life and Sunshine Pavilion.

It set up Urban Best Practice Areas (UBPA) and a specific website for the expo, both unprecedented in history.

Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Joan Clos said the Chinese government and the Shanghai municipal government have held an excellent expo with its theme matching the messages and efforts of the UN-Habitat.

Vicente Loscertales, secretary-general of the French International Expositions Bureau (BIE), said: "China has been able to fully interpret and to put into practice the core values of education, innovation, cooperation which are the foundation on which an Expo develops its legacy."

He commended China's openness to the world and cooperation with BIE and said the overwhelming success of the Shanghai Expo 2010 will inspire future hosts of World Expos.

Gordon Campbell, premier of Canada's westmost province British Columbia, said: "What it really does is it shows what we can do when we think about living cities and creating places people want to live."

"The expo showed what the future can look like, and I think it is going to be very powerful for China and it is certainly powerful for the rest of the world as well. It was a huge success and I hope everyone in Shanghai and China feels like it was a huge success as well," Campbell said.

Jose Freches, commissioner general of the France Pavilion, said: "Better City, Better life is an actual theme, how to organize cities of tomorrow to allow people to have better lives in big cities."

"It's a concrete theme for all the planet and there will be a Shanghai declaration, a charter to be adopted by all countries who participated in the exhibition of Shanghai," he said.

"I'm sure Shanghai World Expo has made a great contribution to this idea," he said.

The Shanghai World Expo is closing. But its wonderful melody still resonates all over the global village. A post-expo era is emerging in style.

(Xinhua News Agency October 31, 2010)


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