USA pavilion joins the party in Shanghai

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It has taken all the guile and political skills that Hillary Clinton can muster but the USA's presence at this May's 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is finally coming together.

And American organizers say their pavilion ( for the May 1 - October 31 event will focus heavily on the long-standing relationship between the people of their nation and those from China.

But there were first a number of factors standing in the way of the US when it came to planning for Shanghai.

US regulations forbid the government from contributing any money to events such as Expo and so the corporate world has to be rallied - to the tune of US$61 million (43 million euros) in this case, which was the estimated budget needed.

Initially, given the recent economic climate and what critics claim was a complete lack of interest shown by the Bush administration, it looked liked the US just would not front for the Expo at all.

Enter Mrs Clinton, the country's Secretary of State.

"The idea, for many people, of raising more than US$50 million (35 million euros) would seem really daunting,'' she told the New York Times. "Maybe because I had participated in raising so much money before I wasn't daunted by it.''

And so corporate America answered the call.

Organizers of the pavilion now say that on completion it will "present a dynamic, emotional story that radiates powerful core values shared by both the Chinese and American people'.'

Its main themes will be sustainability, teamwork and health while they say displays will reflect "the fundamental belief that America is a place of opportunity where those who seek to change the world for the better will always thrive and prosper.''

At the center of the pavilion will be an exhibit entitled "The Chinese in America - We are Family," which aims to present thousands of headshots of the people who make up the Chinese-American community.

A public outreach campaign has been held in both traditional and digital media in the US to encourage Chinese Americans to upload their photos for the exhibition.

More than 70 million visitors are expected to visit the World Expo, which will feature pavilions representing more than 200 nations and organizations.

World Expo 2010

May 1- October 31

Shanghai, China