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Taiwan to participate in the Shanghai World Expo

2009. 18 July

( Taipei - An agreement on the location of a Taiwan pavilion has cleared the way for the island to agree to participate in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported Saturday. The agreement, which still requires Chinese approval, is expected to be signed Tuesday by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Shanghai Expo, reported CNA.

At issue had been the placement of a Taiwanese pavilion against the backdrop of a continuing dispute between China and Taiwan about Taiwan's status. China had insisted that any Taiwan pavilion be in the Chinese area, indicating that Taiwan is part of China, as China argues.

Taiwan, which maintains independence from China, had sought to place the pavilion in the international zone.

As a compromise, the Taiwan pavilion will be in the Asia zone, near the Chinese section, allowing both sides to claim they got what they wanted.

Xu Wei, spokesman for the Shanghai Expo's organizing committee, said Taiwan's design work on its pavilion is going smoothly.

"We believe the Taiwan Pavilion can be built before the Expo's opening on May 1, 2010, and we respect TAITRA's interior design for the Taiwan Pavilion," he told CNA.

The Shanghai World Expo is scheduled to run from May 1 through October 31 in 2010. The Expo, held every five years, is expected to draw 70 million visitors.

So far 240 countries and international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Shanghai Expo.