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Beijing expo site will be center for ecological education

By Xin Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-09 07:36
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Visitors pass the cactus area at the Botanic Garden of the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition in Yanqing district, Beijing, Aug 25, 2019. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/]

The Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition will hold its closing ceremony, themed "Ode to Harvest", on Wednesday in the city's Yanqing district.

The exhibition hosted nearly 3,300 activities and attracted 9.34 million tourists from home and abroad during its 162-day run. Eighty-six countries and 24 international organizations attended.

Premier Li Keqiang will attend the closing ceremony and deliver a speech on Wednesday evening, said Gao Yan, executive director of the expo's executive committee, at a news conference hosted by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.

Nearly 900 people, including foreign leaders and special envoys from five countries, international exhibitors, horticulture experts and journalists, will attend the ceremony, said Gao, who chairs the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Before the closing ceremony, Li will tour the China Pavilion with the foreign leaders, she said.

Beijing Expo 2019 exhibited more than 8,000 varieties of plants, including more than 820 species of fruit and Chinese herbs, said Wang Hong, vice-mayor of Beijing.

A drone captures a bird's-eye view of a theater at the venue of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition on Monday. The expo opened on April 29 and closes on Oct 9, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

"It is the first time in horticulture expo history that the integration of horticultural techniques as a whole have been showcased," Wang said. "The expo also has vividly interpreted the concept of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature."

The expo park, at the foot of a section of the Great Wall, became home to 78 species of migratory birds. Berries to feed them were cultivated along the Gui River, which runs through the park, to enrich biodiversity.

The park, covering 503 hectares, has 14 different styles of gardens, created by top designers from around the world, to illustrate ideas for environmental development, said Zhou Jianping, deputy director of the Beijing Expo 2019 Coordination Bureau.

"We preserved more than 50,000 plants in the park during the expo. They will be a green legacy for the region," he said, adding that the main pavilions, such as the China Pavilion, use solar power, rainwater collection and drip irrigation to demonstrate approaches to recycling.

Performers attend the opening ceremony of the three-day Beijing International Tourism Festival at the expo's venue. [Photo/China News Service]

After the expo, the park will serve as an education center to display achievements in ecological civilization and convey the importance of nature, plants and environmental protection to the next generation.

Zhou said the park will become a tourist destination for Beijing residents. In less than half an hour, a high-speed train will take tourists from the capital's downtown to Yanqing district.

Facilities near the park, such as hotel accommodations, restaurants and other tourism-related establishments, are already in place to meet the needs of travelers, he said.

The park, as a legacy of the expo, will also be used to support the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Zhou said. Yanqing will host several Winter Olympics events, including Alpine skiing, bobsled, skeleton and luge.

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