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Home > Ambassador Liu > Remarks > 2010
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Opening of the Photo Exhibition of The Shanghai World Expo in Manchester

Councillor Mark Hackett, Lord Mayor of Manchester,

Sir Warren Smith, Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester

Professor John Brooks, Vice Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University,

Consul-General Ni Jian,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for joining us for the opening of "EXPO NOW", the photo exhibition of the Shanghai World Expo, in Manchester.

Since its opening 2 months ago, the Expo has proved to be a major attraction for Chinese and overseas visitors, receiving 18 million visitors in total, or 330 thousand per day on average. Enthusiastic visitors often have to queue for hours to get into the UK National Pavilion and other popular venues. Not surprisingly, football has become a new highlight in many venues. Someone came up with the smart idea of installing a wax figure of Wayne Rooney in the entrance of the UK Pavilion, which as you can imagine has made your pavilion even more popular.

One cannot help but wonder why the Shanghai Expo has attracted so many participating countries and visitors around the world, who defy the scorching sun and endless queues to visit the Expo site. My answer to this question is three-fold:

Firstly, the Shanghai World Expo provides an occasion to reflect on our way of life and the future of mankind. We live in a time of unbelievable wealth and prosperity, but we are also faced with unprecedented global challenges, not least the challenge of how to live in harmony with nature. Focusing on "Better City, Better Life" as its main theme, the Shanghai World Expo seeks to explore new ideas and new development models for a more sustainable way of life.

Secondly, the Shanghai World Expo is a great opportunity to better understand the world around us. It is a collective stage on which 246 countries and international organizations compete to showcase "the best of the best", best technology, best ideas and best practices all coming together in a major celebration of cultural diversity, innovation and the power of thought in our world.

Thirdly, the Shanghai World Expo helps people to know more about China. Just like the Beijing Olympics, the Shanghai Expo will be another opportunity to promote understanding between China and the world. Visitors to the Expo will see a both ancient and modern China embracing reform and openness. And people in China in turn will know more about their neighbors in the global village.

The UK is the birthplace of the modern Expo and a star performer at the Shanghai Expo. The UK pavilion, nicknamed as Dandelion by Chinese internet users, symbolizes the modern creative vigor of Britain. The UK has also made full use of the Expo by organizing events and visits to promote cooperation in business, science, technology and culture between our two countries.

In hosting this photo exhibition, we would like to share with the British public the joy the Expo brings and also encourage the British public to learn more about Shanghai and China. The 100 photos on display here capture some of the memorable moments of the Expo and offer breath-taking views of the different pavilions. It also traces China's participation in the World Expo over the past century and shows a real Shanghai, both past and present.

As a centre of the industrial revolution, Manchester is known as the Capital of the North and takes "Concilio Et Labore" or "wisdom and effort" as its motto. It has developed vibrant links with Chinese cities in recent years. We do hope that such mutually beneficial links will grow stronger as an important part of a growing China-UK partnership. The Chinese Embassy in the UK and our Consulate-General in Manchester will support you wherever we can.

I also wish to take this opportunity to thank ARUP and the Shanghai Friendship Association UK for their strong support and to Bank of China (UK) and Communications Bank of China for sponsoring this event. My thanks also go to my colleague Consul-General Ni Jian and his staff for their hard work and to Manchester Metropolitan University for providing a wonderful venue and thoughtful services for the exhibition.

Finally, I wish Expo Now in Manchester a great success.

Thank you.


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