The European Union is taking part in a universal exhibition for the first time outside Europe — in Shanghai: World Expo 2010. The largest city in China, on its central eastern coast, is expecting 70 million visitors for the occasion, opening May 1.
Preparations and construction are proceeding. The ‘Middle Empire’s’ centre piece will be the ‘Red Pavillion’.
The expo theme is “Better city, better life”, on improving standards of living through environmental and urban planning. The EU and its member countries consider themselves well-qualified to contribute here.
Serge Abou, the EU’s ambassador to China, said: “We’re going to make the most of introducing people to the European Union, getting to know it, our environmental policies and so on, and also to give a slightly more festive image of Europe. Because Europe is known in terms of meetings and summits, etcetera. We’ll show a bit of European cuisine, football, those sorts of things. They’re all themes the Chinese find very appealing, and which we’re going to develop at this exhibition.”
China also intends to show itself in its best light. That is why Shanghai has launched a civic behaviour improvement campaign — discouraging the habit of spitting in public, for example.