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World Expo to open with bang and a surprise

2010. 9 March

by Yang Jian
( The opening ceremony of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo would be highlighted by a spectacular fireworks show, complete with lasers and sound effects, on both sides of the Huangpu River, a top official said in Beijing yesterday.

Several hundred thousand people would be invited to watch the ceremony live,
Wan Jifei, vice director of the Shanghai World Expo Executive Committee and a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said on the sidelines of the advisory body's annual meeting.

"I believe people will see the ceremony as grand, warm and exciting as well as simple and prudent," Wan said.

Much high technology would be involved in the show, Wan Gang, China's Minister of Science and Technology, told the conference. They declined to elaborate, saying it should "be a surprise for people around the world."

The Expo organizer has decided that the opening ceremony will be held on the night of April 30 and the closing ceremony on October 31.

The organizer had elaborately designed the ceremony to be individualistic and eye-catching without being as "heavyweight" as that of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Wan Jifei said.

Chen Xuyuan, president of the Shanghai International Port Group, revealed that the organizer had imported music fountains from France to add even more glamor for the opening show.

These fountains would be installed on the Huangpu River within a week and fine-tuning finished in April, Chen said.

Shanghai Deputy Mayor Yang Xiong has said people should expect plenty of "Shanghai characteristics" at the ceremony.

Some heads of state have already confirmed their attendance for the whiz-bang Expo opening ceremony, including Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev, the presidents of France and Russia.