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World celebrates opening of Shanghai Expo

BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- People around the world hailed the opening of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo on Friday evening, a proud beginning that featured a high-tech display of dazzling artistic performances, laser lights, and fireworks.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrated the opening of the American Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo with a reception in Washington.

Clinton invited business leaders to attend the reception, which featured a live video feed from the U.S. pavilion in Shanghai.

She said the pavilion promotes a "people to people connection" between the United States and China, which is "the base of a long-lasting relationship."

Clinton thanked the corporate partners that participated, saying the pavilion was not only a partnership between China and the United States, but also a partnership between the American government and the country's corporations.

In Milan, the Chinese community was extremely proud of China as Shanghai opened the gates to the expo that underscores the Chinese financial center's comeback as a major world city.

"I couldn't watch live the ceremony because I was working, but I knew about it and felt very proud of being a Chinese," said Qu Jiankang, a 35-year-old worker.

"I am going to watch online a part of the event tonight as I go back home. Everybody in our community feels proud of the Shanghai Expo," said a young man who gave his name as Marco.

The media and business community in Pakistan hailed the expo, which attracted 189 countries to the six-month event.

Almost all Pakistani TV channels reported the expo or did live broadcasts of the opening ceremony, which was attended by President Hu Jintao and other leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

TV "Express 24/7" described the expo as the biggest-ever festival which will attract millions of people from around the world.

Pakistan's most viewed channel, "Geo TV," said "the world's biggest expo is being inaugurated through this colorful ceremony full of Chinese culture."

Samaa TV has a special transmission with the headline on its website saying "Shanghai opens Expo with dazzling display."

"China officially opened its multi-billion-dollar Expo with a dazzling display of fireworks, lasers and dancing fountains," the Samaa TV website said.

Malik Sohail, president of the Businessman Association of Islamabad, told Xinhua "you may say that it might be a dream but China has materialized it."

Cambodians who watched the opening ceremony were greatly impressed with the opening of the first expo to be held in a developing country.

Ek Tha, deputy director for the press department of the Office of the Council of Ministers, said he "wished I was at the Expo Park so that I could see them all in Shanghai."

"This is more than just the World Expo itself but also brings the world to see and learn more about China on what are the key factors that brought China to become a world economic power," he said.

Keo Remy, secretary of state of the Office of the Council of Ministers, said "China is sending a message to the whole world that China did not suffer from the global downturn."

"Every country was hit hard by the economic crisis, while China still enjoyed high economic growth , I think," Remy told Xinhua.

Raphael Hokororo, the Tanzania Information Services assistant director, called the Shanghai expo a good opportunity to promote exchanges and enhance understanding among all countries.

Hokororo said the expo would enhance relations between African countries and China, as well as those of China and developing countries.

"The expo will help further open China's market to African products, and Chinese products to enter the African markets," Hokororo said, hailing China's support for African countries and the deepening Africa-Chinese partnership.

Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao newspaper, which covered the expo on its front page, said in an editorial that Shanghai's hosting of the international event is another symbol of the Chinese people's renaissance and indicates the rise of China's national power.

Organizers said a total of 189 countries and 57 international organizations are participating in the event, the most in the history of the global gala.

The expo was expected to draw 70 million people to the pavilions designed to reflect the urban sustainability theme of "Better City, Better Life."

Lianhe Zaobao said the significance of the Shanghai expo goes beyond China, which is stepping into a new era and whose influence is spreading around the world.

Some overseas Chinese in the United Arab Emirates watched TV broadcasts of the opening ceremony and spoke highly of the expo.

Zhang Huizhan, a senior leader of the Chinese community in the Arab country, said overseas Chinese have the duty to introduce the Shanghai Expo to their foreign friends so that they can better understand the great changes China has witnessed in the past three decades of reform and opening-up.

Denmark's DR2 TV channel said the expo motivated the world's countries to showcase themselves in China.

China, which is still savoring the great success of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was looking forward to hosting the expo as an international event similar to the sports gala, a showcase of the country's political and economic status on the international stage, Danish media said.



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