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Home > Embassy News > 2010
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at "EXPO NOW" in Liverpool
(21 September 2010, St. George’s Hall, Liverpool)
2010/09/22

Councillor Hazel Williams, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool,

Councillor Joe Anderson, Leader of the Liverpool Council,

Consul-General Ni Jian,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us at the “EXPO NOW” Photo Exhibition here in Liverpool.

This is the fourth time I have spoken about the Shanghai World Expo and the third such event I have attended since the end of April when the Expo was officially opened. During this time, my feelings and views about the Expo have intensified in a number of ways:

First, I was lucky enough to have visited the Expo during my recent home leave in China. After the visit I must say that the Expo is much more than what one reads in newspapers or watches on the TV. I was most struck by the magnificence of the China Pavilion and the creativity of the UK Pavilion alike. Chinese internet users have given the UK pavilion a Chinese name: "Pu-gong-ying" - the dandelion, which I believe many of you have visited.

The spectacular UK National Pavilion Day on the 8th of September, which was attended by His Royal Highness the Duke of York and other British dignitaries, brought Britain and the Expo even closer together. The event featured the world premiere of The Weight of Love, a ballet performed by dancers from both the English National Ballet and the Shanghai Ballet, and Swanning Around, a dance performance by 130 Chinese and British art students. These events have impressed upon the Chinese audience Britain’s enthusiasm for the World Expo and many of its unique qualities and strengths.

Liverpool enjoys a unique bond with the Shanghai World Expo. As the second largest port city of Britain, Liverpool started trade with Shanghai as early as more than a century ago. It received the first Chinese settlers to Europe and has the oldest Chinatown and Chinese community in Europe. The Beatles and the Liverpool Football Club, two symbols of Liverpool, are household names in China. Since Liverpool and Shanghai became sister cities 11 years ago, the economic, trade and cultural ties between them have flourished. Not to say that Liverpool is the only UK city with its own pavilion in the Expo. Housed in the Urban Best Practice Area, the Liverpool pavilion not only shows the rich historical heritage of Liverpool, but also a great city revitalised. So it is very special for me to attend a photo exhibition on the Shanghai world expo, here in Liverpool. I was also glad to learn that the Lord Mayor and the Leader of the Liverpool Council will go to the Shanghai World Expo for the “Liverpool Day” on 16th October. I wish the Liverpool Day a complete success and the delegation from Liverpool a pleasant stay in Shanghai.

Apart from these new discoveries, there are some things I have always believed about the Expo:

Firstly, the Shanghai World Expo is a great display of the latest technologies and development ideas. It seeks to explore ways for us to live in harmony with nature by setting a direction for future urban development, through a green, low-carbon way of life. It also displays the latest scientific achievements under the theme of “better city, better life”.

Secondly, the Shanghai World Expo is a unique showcase of cultural diversity in our world, bringing together 246 countries and international organisations and offering over 20 thousand cultural events. It not only provides an opportunity to understand what mankind has achieved, but also helps the friendship and understanding among people all over the world.

Thirdly, the Shanghai World Expo is another close encounter between China and the world since the Beijing Olympics, this time through a 6-month long event. People will have many different feelings and thoughts about the Expo. But I hope that they have all seen a more open and happy China, closer to the rest of the world.

By yesterday, the 143rd day of the Expo, it has attracted more than 53 million visitors. It may well exceed the record of 64 million visitors. The success of the World Expo is a success for Shanghai, for China and for the world.

I take this opportunity to thank ARUP and the Friendship Association of Shanghai for their assistance and support for EXPO NOW. I would also like to thank Bank of China (UK) and the Bank of Communications of China for sponsoring this event, and Consul-General Ni Jian and his colleagues for their hard work. A special word of thanks is also due to our friends at the St. George’s Hall for this wonderful venue and for their thoughtful arrangements.

To conclude, I wish the Photo Exhibition in Liverpool a great success!

Thank you.

(Ambassador Liu and Councillor Anderson watch together the photos of World EXPO in Shanghai)

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