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Shanghai Expo kicks off with razzamatazz

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Shanghai Expo kicks off with razzamatazz

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The world’s biggest ever Expo has opened in China.

After years of preparation, Shanghai 2010 kicked off with all the possible razzamatazz and hoopla such an event could boast.

President Hu Jintao was on hand to get proceedings underway.

And with almost 200 countries in the city to showcase their culture, a parade of international leaders were there to lend him their support.

The theme of this year’s event is sustainable development. A timely issue in a country increasingly aware of the environmental cost of industrialisation.

A range of celebrities, including actor Jackie Chan performed at the opening gala.

China says it’s spent over three billion euros to host the expo. Local media say the true cost is closer to 43.

An estimated 70 million visitors – mostly Chinese – are expected to attend over the next six months.