Shanghai World Expo 2010>Video>Days and Nights in Shanghai>Cover Archive
UPDATED: May 11, 2009 NO. 19 MAY 14, 2009
Expo's a Go!
China celebrates the one-year countdown of World Expo 2010 Shanghai

READY FOR A GALA: The Shanghai International Convention Center stands at Lujiazui in the Putong New Area (ZHANG BO )

China started the one-year countdown clock to the World Expo 2010 Shanghai on May 1 with events held in the host city and Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said at the Beijing ceremony that the World Expo had played an important and unique role in promoting the world's economic and technological development during its more than 150-year history.

In Shanghai, more than 200 events were staged to mark the countdown, from volunteer recruitment drives to publicity events for the Expo's theme—Better City, Better Life.

Citizens joined in a citywide cleanup. Other volunteers worked in the parks, commercial centers and railway stations to serve visitors there.

Many people also signed their names onto a giant scroll and wrote their best wishes for the coming event. Children painted Haibao—the mascot of the Shanghai Expo. Organizers also staged Shanghai World Music Week as part of the celebration.

"It is our responsibility to contribute to this big event, to show guests a clean and beautiful host city," said Zhang Guoming, a 50-year-old volunteer.

Jin Jing, an event ambassador and Paralympics Champion, organized an activity in Shanghai's Putuo District to invite more young people to join her as volunteers. "I think young people should play a very important role in the Expo with their enthusiasm and language skills," said Jin.

On April 30, a day before the ceremony, Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan, NBA star Yao Ming and pianist Lang Lang, were also appointed goodwill ambassadors for the event.

"I will spare no efforts to pay close attention to the Expo and help promote it throughout the world," Chan said at a performance for residents relocated from the Expo site. "Like every Chinese citizen, I am looking forward to the event," said Chan.

Yao, a Shanghai native, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying that he has been hoping to contribute to the event.

"I want to tell everyone: 'welcome to my hometown, Shanghai, and welcome to the Shanghai Expo.'".

At the Expo site, much of the main construction has already been finished, such as the China Pavilion and the Performing Arts Center. The major structures are supposed to be complete by the end of 2009. Some of the subway lines built for the Expo are also under construction, and the mascot and Expo slogan are ever present.

As of May 5, some 237 countries and international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Expo, with 200 having already signed the participation contract.

Organizers expect that Shanghai will welcome 70 million visitors during the 184-day event, making it the most well-attended World Expo ever.

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