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Shanghai World Expo to be the 'largest ever'

2010. 20 January

The China pavillion might not be the only one remaining after the Expo as an internet poll will take place during the event, that will allow visitors to vote and leave their opinions regarding the pavillions.

( The Shanghai 2010 World Expo is going to be the “largest ever world exhibition in all history”, according to Zhou Hanmin, deputy director of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai
Executive Committee, who yesterday participated in the Shanghai Expo Forum, that took place in MGM Grand Macau.

“We have quite a great number of expectations. First and foremost, we tried to make it the largest forum of multiculture and different civilisations in the world. This is the first time we’ve worked out a platform for people to come down, no matter if the country is large or small, no matter if the civilization is ancient or new,” Zhou Hanmin said.
Promoting a strong belief in the development of the human society, the Expo has a focus on peace and development, as well as the environment – with low carbon emissions at the top of the list.
“We understand very well that no matter how difficult the low-carbon economy goals are, we still believe it is still a very noble goal for the common society, for the international community.
That’s why we need to take very necessary and concrete steps for that. Not only by words but surely by deeds. So, the expectations for the Shanghai World Expo is try to make it the largest peaceful gathering of human beings,” Zhou Hanmin added.
With preparations for the event going according to plan and construction of most pavilions nearly complete, according to an official on the executive committee in Beijing, the joint efforts of the international community were key factors for the rapid development of the Expo.
“In 1851, the first World Expo was held in London and we’ll try to make this one not only the largest but also the best ever. To make it the best, it’s not only with the endeavours of the Chinese people alone, although we have 1.3 billion people all together,” Zhou Hanmin said.
“We rely very heavily on the joint efforts of the international community, so countries all over the world, 190 sovereign states, together with 50 international organisations came together,” he added.
Having spent RMB80 billion on infrastructure construction on the 5.28 square kilometer Expo site, together with some construction of permanent pieces of architecture – such as the national pavilion of China, the Expo Boulevard, the Arts Performing Centre, as well as the Expo thematic pavilion – the Shanghai Expo may well continue it’s objectives after the end of the expo.
The China pavilion might not be the only one remaining after the Expo, as Zhou Hanmin stresses that “because so many people has invested so much in the pavilions and the Expo, we hope people can judge what kind of pavilions should be left for future use,” which also includes the Macau pavilion.
“This is the internet age, where people can easily judge and express their thoughts, so that’s where they [the visitors] will leave their opinions regarding the future of the pavilions of the Expo. The opinion poll will be open to all,” he stressed.
About 90 percent of the total pavilion construction will be completed by March 31 and with all the interior designs and arrangements done, “sometime in April, we will have several ‘soft-openings’ practices and a sort of ‘trial period’ to see if everything is going as planned.”
Even with the global financial crisis, Zhou Hanmin explained, no country had withdrawn from the event, as everyone understands that “we cannot cut a tree in winter, as it will blossom in spring and it’s spring time now. That’s why we can expect even more visitors that we had projected earlier.”
The Macau pavilion is part of the 90 percent of structurally-finished pavilions that are only lacking inside exhibition completion works, but that will be finished in time, according to Christiana Ieong Pou Yee, coordinator of the Office for the Preparation of Macau’s Participation in the Shanghai World Expo.
“In terms of structure, the pavilion will be done in a few days, so we’ve already started working towards the exhibition content,” she said during yesterday’s Forum.
The Macau Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo, will measure a symbolic height of 19.99 meters (the date of Macau’s handover) with a total surface area of 1,300 square meters. It will have a transparent body with a metal structure, taking the shape of a jade rabbit lantern that will change colors to present a mythological world, inspired by the rabbit lanterns so popular during the Mid-autumn Festival in south China.
In Chinese mythology, the jade rabbit is a guide to the front of Nantianmen – the door leading to a fairy land.
Inside the pavilion, all displays are based on video and interactive multimedia that will feature several aspects of Macau life such as events, festivities and landmarks, among others. These will paint a vivid picture of life in the S.A.R. and will not exceed three minutes. According to initial projections, over 10,000 visitors are expected daily.
The Shanghai Expo will run from May 1 to October 31, and the number of expected visitors may exceed the initial forecast of 70 million, according to Zhou Hanmin. As of Sunday, more than 18 million tickets had been sold.