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Home > Embassy News > 2010
Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Drinks Reception for the Closing of the Shanghai World Expo
(26 October 2010, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

Minister Mark Prisk,

Professor Stephen Hopper,

My Lords,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I warmly welcome all of you to the reception to mark the closing of the Shanghai World Expo.

It has been 179 days since the Shanghai World Expo opened on the 1st of May and in just 5 days, it will come to a close. The EXPO NOW Photo Exhibition hosted by the Chinese Embassy has been touring since June and is also coming to its fifth and final stop here at Kew Gardens. Tonight is a time for joy and celebration, a time to raise our glasses and drink to the success of both the Shanghai World Expo and the EXPO NOW exhibition.

The past 6 months have been a memorable time. The Shanghai World Expo, with its theme of “Better City, Better Life”, has showcased new ideas for urban development, along with the latest scientific achievements and the colourful world we live in. Receiving more than 70 million visitors, Shanghai broke the record in the World Expo history. In fact never before in human history has there been such a long running global event that attracted so many people.

So today, as we live in the age of the information explosion, why has the Shanghai World Expo been so popular with people around the world? One of the reasons is that the Expo has provided a wonderful platform and stage for people to re-trace the course of human development and to observe the real China in action.

As we celebrate the success of the Shanghai World Expo, we should also reflect on its legacy, both to China and across the world.

I believe that first and foremost, the Expo has shown the world an open and confident China. If the world caught a glimpse of China through the 2008 Beijing Olympics, then it has a chance through the Shanghai World Expo to take an even closer look. The Expo has provided a panoramic view of China’s urban development and changes in its society, as well as aspirations of the Chinese people. It showed a country that is friendly, confident, open and inclusive. China is no longer an abstract cultural symbol, but a real country that combines traditions and modernity, opportunities and challenges, present and future.

Secondly, the Expo shows the direction of China’s future development. To further improve the life of its people, the country is duty bound to build up its innovative capacity, through green, harmonious and sustainable development. China is still a developing country in the process of urbanisation and industrialisation: It is facing increasingly acute constraints on energy, resources and environment. To ensure a better future, China has moved to restructure its economy, by upgrading its growth model. It will rely more on education and scientific innovations and follow a low-carbon and green path for development. In this way, the Shanghai World Expo will be a milestone in China’s modernisation process.

Thirdly, the Expo showed the world what win-win cooperation really means, not just for Shanghai and China, but also for the world, as its splendour and success would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of hundreds of countries and organisations. At a time when we are still under the shadow of world financial crisis, this success should give us all the courage and confidence to overcome the difficulties we are facing.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The British government and the British people have shown a keen interest in the Shanghai World Expo. The UK National Pavilion has been a sensation with the people of China with its distinctive features. It has also been the busiest of the European pavilions with more than 7 million visitors. It has embodied the inventive spirit and capabilities of Britain and has become a new symbol for your country. The Zero-Carbon and Liverpool Pavilions also proved to be very popular.

The cooperation that China and the UK have developed during the Shanghai World Expo is just added testimony to the close partnership between our two countries. China-UK cooperation is off to a renewed start and is now on the fast track. Our relationship promises many more opportunities and new progress. And the first official visit to China by Prime Minister David Cameron early next month, will take our relations to a new level.

As the Shanghai World Expo is coming to a successful close, the EXPO NOW Photo Exhibition is also about to complete its mission with success. The 100 or so photos that have been on display in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool, captured almost all the important aspects of the Shanghai World Expo, enabling those who have not been able to go to Shanghai, to get the flavour and excitement of the Expo. We are also delighted and encouraged that it has attracted tens of thousands of visitors. This is no doubt the best reward for the hard work of all those involved.

In conclusion, I wish to take this opportunity to once again thank ARUP and the Friendship Association of Shanghai for their assistance and support of EXPO NOW, and Newland UK for organizing the event. I also want to thank Professor Stephen Hopper and his colleagues at Kew, and Asia House, Manchester Metropolitan University, Edinburgh Zoo, St. George’s Hall of Liverpool, for providing wonderful venues for our exhibitions. A special word of thanks is also due to Bank of China (UK) and the Bank of Communications of China, for generously sponsoring the event. I would also like to thank our colleagues at the Chinese Consulates-General in Manchester and Edinburgh, for their hard work. Finally, my hearty thanks go to everyone who has worked so tirelessly to make the exhibition a great success. It is you who have given us the reason to not only celebrate the illustrious past but also expect a more promising and splendid future!

Thank you.

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