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World Expo: a grand party beckons

2010. 9 March

( With just under two months to go before the curtain lifts on the Shanghai World Expo, NPC deputies from the city are taking the chance provided by the annual session to lay out every detail in their preparations.

From air to water to land ... the city of Shanghai is pledging to make all-out efforts in the final preparations for its upcoming grand party. And here in Beijing, deputies from the World Expo's host city are sharing this excitement at the ongoing CPPCC and NPC sessions.

Wang Ronghua, NPC Deputy, former SASS President, said, "The upcoming World Expo is a very good, and important, platform to showcase the very best of each country. Everybody in the city ... from government officials to ordinary citizens ... we're all doing our best to complete the final preparations."

Yan Chengzhong, NPC Deputy, Donghua University professor, said, "We'll show to the world what we have achieved ..."

The World Expo -- also known as the "Olympics of Economy, Culture, and Technology" -- is now coupled with Shanghai's dream of building itself into an international financial and shipping center. This goal was set as a national strategy by the State Council last year. The unexpected global financial crisis is giving this year's event new meaning as well.

Wang Zhan, NPC Deputy, Shanghai Municipal Government Official, said, "This year's World Expo has become increasingly important under the backdrop of a worldwide financial crisis. It provides us a platform to explore which direction the global economy should follow, and where technological breakthroughs should be heading."

Although there are still more than 50 days to go, deputies from Shanghai have already started talking about post-expo development. Analysts say the event will speed up the city's economic development by 10 years. Its long-lasting effect on the metropolitan area will stretch far beyond that, as the municipality is also seizing the opportunity to upgrade its industrial structure.

Reporter Feng Ling said, "The 2010 World Expo is another major event for China, after the country successfully hosted the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Many hope the 6-month showcase will bring about a legacy that lasts 6 decades, and give Shanghai an additional boost in the journey to build itself into an international financial and shipping center.