Saturday, May 1, 2010

Newsy: World Expo Opens in China

The World Expo, a grand display of cultures, opened with a lavish ceremony, but not everyone is happy with those changes.
In a lavish display of cultures from all around the world, the World Expo has officially kicked off in Shanghai and although Chinese President Hu Jintao promises a great time, there are still some concerns about its readiness. 
We have perspectives from Christian Science Monitor, CNN, Xinhua Net, France 24 and The Guardian.
France 24 says the city went through many changes spending almost $4 billion on construction and upgrades:  "Just to give you an idea of the size of it. The World Expo site itself is twice the size of Monaco. Three billion euros were spent on its construction, that's twice the cost of the Beijing Olympic games back in 2008. Last minute preparations are still underway. I've seen soldiers and volunteers carrying supplies about in anticipation of some 800,000 visitors on the first day alone."
The Guardian says Chinese officials have forced some people out of their homes and not everyone is happy about it: "One target has been those who have protested over the forced demolition of their homes to make way for the Expo site. According to official estimates, 18,000 households have been knocked down."
Christian Science Monitor reports construction on many of the pavilions isn't done yet — and that's with more than 800,000 people expected on opening day: "That so much remained to be done on the eve of the Expo, eight years after Shanghai was given the right to host it, was apparently the result of a mixture of factors. They ranged from the sheer scale of the enterprise — the largest World’s Fair ever held — to heavyhanded interference by the Chinese authorities."
With all the contruction woes, according to CNN, Shanghai is also telling residents to behave themselves — imposing rules to ensure China gives off the right impression: "Volunteers have fanned out across the city reminding residents to stand in line at the subway, not to spit in public, litter, j-walk, or wear pajama outside — a local tradition. We have to dress in a civilized way, this community organizer says, we need to present a tidy image."
But according to Xinhua Net, the Chinese president is promising an unforgettable fair that will bridge China and the rest of the world: "Hu said he believed this Expo would contribute to interactions and mutual learning between Chinese and people of other countries, as well as among different civilizations...China would make continued efforts to improve the livelihood of its 1.3 billion people and make greater and new contribution to the world peace and development."

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