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Participation Aims to Deepen U.S.-China Friendship, Cooperation
2009. 18 July
Washington - U.S. officials broke ground July 17 on the USA Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo, one week after signing a contract to become the 240th confirmed participant.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke attended the ceremony in Shanghai on the last day of his four-day visit to China. He said the pavilion will deepen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the United States and China and offer insight into the life and culture of the American people.
The Shanghai World Expo will be held May 1, 2010, through October 31, 2010, and is expected to attract 70 million visitors. It will feature 40 pavilions from nations around the world. Its theme is "Better City, Better Life."
"The theme of Better City, Better Life gives us a perfect opportunity to highlight U.S. innovation, particularly in environmental initiatives, and to share ideas with countries from around the world on ways to create better cities and communities for all our people," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a letter to Commissioner-General Jose H. Villarreal for the groundbreaking ceremony.
The United States is proud to participate in the exposition, she said, and she and President Obama are committed to supporting the pavilion.
"The USA Pavilion will showcase the best of American business, culture and values in one of China's most dynamic cities, and highlight our national commitment to innovation, diversity and a clean energy future," Clinton said.
In a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on July 12, Locke encouraged American companies to donate money for the exposition. On July 13, three sponsors - Wal-Mart, NYSE Euronext and Intel - joined nine others previously announced. About half of the $61 million necessary for the pavilion has been raised so far.
Commissioner-General Jose H. Villarreal, the official head of the U.S. pavilion and U.S. representative to China on exposition issues, said he was confident the project would be completed on time.
"I am personally committed to having a national pavilion that will showcase the best of America and will make our Chinese hosts and visitors as well as the American people proud," Villarreal said.
The groundbreaking ceremony marks an important year in the history of United States-China relations, said Beatrice Camp, the U.S. consul general in Shanghai. January was the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
"Now, by committing to participate in China's first-ever world's fair, we are opening a gateway to the next 30 years, with more engagement, more exchanges, more visits and more dialogue," Camp said.
The USA Pavilion will sit on a 5,600-square-meter plot across from the China pavilion. Visitors will tour an American city set in 2030, featuring clean energy and other technological innovations.
"The Shanghai Expo represents all that the nations of the world can accomplish when they work together, the global challenges they can meet through collective action, and the progress they can achieve through international cooperation," Clinton said.
A transcript of Villarreal's remarks at the ceremony ( http://www.america.gov/st/scitech-english/2009/July/20090717153521abretnuh0.3172724.html ) is available on America.gov.
More information on the USA Pavilion ( http://www.usapavilion2010.com/ ) is available on a Web site for the pavilion.
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://www.america.gov)