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Cultural diversity to be stressed at Shanghai Expo
By Chang Tianle (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-26 00:17

The Shanghai World Expo in 2010 should serve as a stage for civilized dialogue, in addition to being an exhibition of the latest inventions and technology, said the organizer and experts at an Expo forum held in Paris on Friday.

They agreed that cultural diversity is the most valuable source of wealth of all human beings, and will be the foundation of a new multi-sided world order.

Wu Jianmin, president of Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) said the world should not follow or adopt a single strong culture, which is by no means democratic. Instead, to allow all cultures to exist and flourish is what the world in 21st century truly needs.

"What World Expo can contribute to this new order is to enable all people, countries and ethnicities to present themselves in the same place, and to seek understanding and co-operation," he said.

"Given the current international trend, the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 will carry a significant meaning to the world," he said, adding that it will be a perfect example of culture diversity and democracy as well.

His view was shared by more than 200 speakers and participants, including BIE delegates, senior officials of various international organizations, and researchers as well as the organizers.

"Cultural diversity is the primary condition for cultural dialogue and it is a global challenge," said Paris deputy mayor Christophe Girard.

His counterpart, Shanghai vice mayor Zhou Yupeng, who is also taking a key role in the Shanghai Expo preparation, told the forum that the World Expo would create a large stage for all cultures to meet, exchange and integrate.

"Culture is the soul of the city, and is also the pillar of World Expo," Zhou said.Wu said as Shanghai World Expo had the theme of "Better City, Better Life," all cultures will be able to respond to the question -- based on each civilization's nature -- of how to make the city a better place for human being.

As for Shanghai itself, Zhou said the city will take the opportunity of the Expo to invest more in culture industry and infrastructure, and promote culture development and integration, thus to create a capacity to keep different cultures in harmony.

Besides, all preparation for the World Expo Shanghai is proceeding smoothly under the leadership of the Organizing Committee, which is headed by Vice Premier Wu Yi. The organizer is working intensively on the Expo programme, registration report, promotion and publicity campaign, and financing strategy as well as the infrastructure and site plan.

Yu Ping, Chinese delegate to the BIE said with the full support of the international community and the wisdom and staff from the world's people, the Chinese Government is full of confidence that World Expo 2010 Shanghai will be successful, wonderful and memorable.

The one-day forum, themed "City: Culture Diversity and Culture Integration," was organized by BIE and the Shanghai municipal government and took place in Paris, home to BIE's headquarter.

The annual forum starting from last year is the first time that a host country has generated ideas from all over the world.Next September, a forum with a focus on sustainable development will take place in Aichi, Japan at the end of Aichi World Expo.

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