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Taiwanese Pearls Glitter at Shanghai's Expo

2010. 14 June

by Lin Hsin-ching /tr. by Jonathan Barnard
( In 1970, for the first time ever, a World Expo was held in a city outside of the advanced nations of Europe and the Americas. Japan, which had been experiencing rapid economic growth in the post-war era, had won the right to play host that year. With the theme of "progress and harmony for mankind," the Osaka Expo '70 attracted some 64.22 million visitors, making it the best-attended World Expo in history.

The event held special historical significance for Taiwan too, because the Republic of China would soon leave the United Nations. Osaka ended up being the last time that Taiwan could formally participate in a World Expo as the ROC. The ROC Pavilion was designed by the internationally famous architect I.M. Pei, whose trademark triangular geometries were plainly visible on its design, both inside and out. The pavilion was one of the Osaka Expo's most eye-catching structures.

Beginning in 1970, Taiwan began to leave one international organization after another, and consequently it could no longer make a display of national splendor at these events. Now, 40 years later-thanks to growing goodwill across the strait and the hard work of its government and private sector-Taiwan finally has an opportunity to once again participate at a World's Fair: Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Moreover, Taiwan will be represented there by three pavilions: the Taiwan Pavilion, the Taipei Pavilion and a corporate pavilion built by the Aurora Group, which specializes in office supplies.

For this not-to-be-missed gathering, a reporter from Taiwan Panorama went to Shanghai in late March with two goals: to report on the remarkable transformation of Shanghai and to delve into the negotiations that took place to bring the three Taiwanese pavilions into being. In our next issue we will feature reports on other pavilions, including China's. Be sure not to miss it!

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