A Brief Introduction to 1999 Kunming International Horticultural Exposition, China

The Organizing Committee of 1999 Kunming International

Horticultural Exposition, China

Approved by le Bureau International des Exposition (BIE) and the Association of International Horticultural Producers (AIPH), the 1999 Kunming International Horticultural Exposition, China (herein after referred to as Expo '99) is officially registered as a specialized international exposition rated A1. The grand exposition, which is sponsored by the Chinese government and executed by the People's Government of Yunnan Province, will be a large-scale international exposition participated by various countries. The duration of the exposition will be 184 days from May 1 to October 31.

The First International Exposition was held in London, UK in 1851. In 1939, BIE was established to manage the affairs relating to international expositions. On May 3, 1993, the Chinese government officially participated in BIE. Up to now, more than 40 various international expositions have been held in different countries in the past one and a half century. The international exposition aims at promoting the exchanges, cooperation and development in the fields of economy, culture, science and technology of all countries in the world, exhibits the latest achievements of each country in various fields and promotes the international trade and technological cooperation. Making full use of these opportunities, each participating country could make itself well understood by the outside world, increase international exchanges, improve its international standing, widen one's views, and learn more advanced technologies from other countries. The exposition also promotes the urban construction and development of the host cities. Since the international exposition is of large scale, high level and distinct representative, it is also called the "Olympics of the World Economy, Culture, Science and Technology". On June 5, 1996, Expo '99 was approved to be held in Kunming, China on the 119th Conference of BIE in Paris, France. Mr. Philipson, Chairman of BIE, presented the representatives of Chinese government with the flag of BIE and Expo '99 was officially registered under the name of "the 1999 Kunming International Horticultural Exposition, China". At the 48th annual meeting of AIPH in Budapest, Hungary on September 16, 1996, Expo '99 was unanimously agreed to be held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. This grand event of Expo '99 will be the first high-level international exposition ever hosted by the Chinese government and the largest one of its kind by the end of this century.

On the theme of "Man and Nature - Marching Into the 21st Century", the main contents of the '99 Kunming Expo will be as follows:

Long-standing gardening and horticultural techniques and achievements as well as relevant facilities;

Courtyard architecture integrating the traditional culture and modern civilization of participating countries;

Achievements portraying human's efforts to protect the natural environment and maintain ecological balance;

History indicating the inseparable relations between horticultural arts and cultural development of respective nations, and the important role of horticulture in social life of humanity;

The important accelerating role of modern life science and biotechnology in the sustainable development of humanity;

To portray the perfect integration of the economic and natural environment by displaying the achievements yielded in the scientific and technological development of the mankind;

To open restaurants for serving local food and open shops for selling souvenirs relevant to the Expo;

To convene economic and trade conferences related to the Expo so as to promote cooperation among participating countries and offer markets for horticultural products and advanced horticultural technology;

To sponsor conferences for all kinds of academic exchanges and specialized exhibitions to promote exchanges and mutual development of gardening and horticultural arts technologies used in natural environmental protection in different countries. Moreover, during Expo '99, performances, parties and activities of special days dedicated to each participating country will be organized while the colorful tourist and sight-seeing activities combined with '99 China Eco-Tour will be provided.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to Expo '99 and has set up an Organizing Committee for this purpose. Chaired by Li Lanqing, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, the Organizing Committee is composed of leaders from 21 ministries including the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Agriculture, the General Administration of Customs, the Ministry of Forestry and China Council for Promotion of International Trade, as well as leaders from the People's Government of Yunnan Province. Yunnan Horticultural Exposition Bureau, an executive office of the Organizing Committee, was established to undertake the construction of exhibition halls and areas, the promotion of exhibition invitation and the organization as well as the management of the exhibition.

Participants of Expo '99 are:

governments of all countries, all international organizations and associations;

provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government and autonomous regions of China;

individual producers and organizations of horticultural products;

organizations undertaking professions in horticultural arts, gardening, landscape, recreational activities and preservation of vegetation areas; Social organizations undertaking relevant education and knowledge popularization;

government and non-government organizations undertaking investigations and research work in agriculture, plants and construction of gardens;

local administrative institutions relevant to environmental protection, botanical gardens, forest parks and education in horticultural plants;

Individuals, organizations, public welfare institutions and enterprises undertaking farming, processing activities and marketing businesses of horticultural products.

As a result of the enthusiastic participation of different countries and regions all over the world, Expo '99 will be a great event with extensive representative. So far, there are totally 68 countries and 26 international organizations who have signed the participating contracts with the Organizing Committee, among which 33 countries and organizations have built permanent exhibition halls and areas in the Expo Garden. These participating countries and international organizations come from five continents of Asia, European, Africa, America and Oceanic with widespread representative. Compared with all previous horticultural expositions, the most striking characteristics of Expo '99 is that almost all the developed countries and those with distinctive horticultural features have officially attended Expo '99.

In terms of domestic exhibition organization, all of the 31 provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government and autonomous regions, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao and Taiwan (NGO participation) have taken part in Expo '99. They established not only the indoor exhibition halls, but also the outdoor gardens.

The Expo Garden, the venue of Expo '99, is located in the "Golden Temple Scenic Area", 4 km away from the downtown of Kunming. With the vegetation coverage of 76.7%, the site is winding its way through the mountains and with luxuriantly green trees and grasses. Therefore, it is an excellent site for horticultural exposition, which integrate mountains, forests, water, grass and flowers with places of historic interest and scenic beauty.

The Expo Garden is highlighted by its unique features and grand landscape. The construction of the Expo Garden within less than three years has been registered as a miracle in the history of A1 International Exposition Venue Construction. Covering an area of 218 hectares, the Expo Garden mainly consists of five Indoor Exhibition Areas, six Theme Exposition Areas and three Outdoor Exhibition Areas, as well as some public service facilities. The Indoor Exhibition Areas are composed of five halls, namely the China Hall, the International Hall, the Grand Greenhouse, the Man-and-Nature Hall and the Science and Technology Hall. The China Hall, 17451 m2., was designed in a style of courtyard and embodies the long-standing Chinese landscape art and horticulture. It is the largest exhibition hall compared with those in the previous expositions. With a novel and vivacious model, the Man-and-Nature Hall is a frame-like building on the shape of a cloverleaf with a total area of 4953 m2 Stressing the relationship of mutual effect between human and nature, the building is composed of six small exhibition halls including the Man-and-the Earth Hall. The Grand Greenhouse, 3630 m2, with functional glass facade, mainly exhibits the views of tropical rain forests, gorgeous temperate varieties of natural science, alpine flowers and plants recourses in frigid zone. The Science-and-Technology Hall, 3064 m2., a point-and-line architecture with a ball-shaped roof, displays the high-tech achievements and advanced techniques of the international horticulture. It is also used to hold academic exchanges and personnel training. The International Hall, 11000 m2., in a streamlined shape of modern architecture, exhibits the most cherished gardening plants and rare plants from all over the world.

The six Theme Exposition Areas are the tree garden, tea garden, bamboo garden, bonsai garden, medicinal-herb garden and vegetable-and-fruit garden. The tree garden covers an area of 2.4 hectares with about 20,000 trees of 280 arbor varieties. The tea garden covers an area of 11600 m2. and mainly exhibits the Chinese traditional tea processing and tea culture with 21 varieties of tea trees, such as the broad-leaf tea and the small-leaf tea. The bamboo garden covers an area of 2.57 hectares with 4000 bamboo clumps of 266 varieties, which are from tall to short, from broad leaf to small leaf and from long bamboo joint to short bamboo joint. The bonsai garden covers an area of 4000 m2. and displays the different bonsai style in China as well as the national colorful bonsai art. The medicinal-herb garden covers an area of 7000 m2. and exhibits the abundant and colorful medicinal herb recourses in China. Over 500 rare and general medicinal herb varieties, such as Taxus chinesensis and Chinese cassia trees, have been planted in this garden. The vegetable-and-fruit garden covers an area of 4900 m2. and mainly shows vegetable and fruits for ornamental purposes and new varieties.

Three Outdoor Exhibition Areas are the Chinese Exposition Area, the International Exposition Area and the Enterprise Exposition Area. The Chinese Exposition Area mainly showcases the natural landscape and cultural scenic spots as well as scientific and technical achievements and techniques in horticulture in all the Chinese provinces, municipalities directly under the Central Government and regions including Hong Kong Special Administrative Area, Macao and Taiwan. The Chinese Outdoor Exposition area is one of the important scenic spots to display the horticultural achievements with long-standing history, distinct features and different styles scored in China. Therefore, it is a distinguished gathering of Chinese traditional gardening from the south to north and may be complimented as a " Grand View Garden" of Chinese gardening and horticulture.

Great supports from all the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities and all walks of life have been offered to Expo '99 and many exquisite horticultural and gardening masterpieces have been presented to the Expo Garden as gifts. Nowadays, enhancing each other's beauty, the "Ornamental Pillar" from Beijing, the "Cluster of Plant Statues---- Elephants" from Tianjin, the "Flower Clock" from Shanghai, the "Yellow River Stone" from Qinghai Province, the "Stone Lion" from Hebei Province, the "Iron Picture" from Anhui Province, the "Bronze Coach and Horses" from Shannxi Province, the "Jade Statues" from Liaoning Province, the "Terraroxa Relief" from Yixing City of Jiangsu Province, the ceramic "Large Flower Vase" from Jingdezhen City of Jiangsu Province, the "Zhenghe Grand Boat" from Yunnan Province and so on can be found in the Expo. Garden.

In the International Exposition Area, there are permanent outdoor gardens built by 33 countries and international organizations, reflecting their own gardening achievements and traditional characteristics.

The Enterprise Exposition Area covers an area of 20,000 m2, consisting of 14 exposition parts and providing room for the construction of exposition halls of the enterprises from home and abroad. Focusing on horticultural industries, this site demonstrates how horticultural enterprises in various countries endeavor to protect environment for human life and advocate a harmonious coexistence of enterprises and nature.

As a display area of the top-class horticultural and gardening masterpieces, the Expo Garden boasts the considerable technical and scientific contents which embody the beautiful features, the artistic techniques and the intellectual value. Over 2000 species of plant have been transplanted, including 60,000 arbors, 300,000 shrubs, 66,000 vines, 200,000 herbs and 200,000 lignosa and other ornamental foliage plants; Over 400,000 m2. of lawn and some 1,000,000 potted flowers have been newly cultivated, among which the precious and rare, endangered and high-valued ornamental plant species amount to 112. In the Grand Greenhouse, over 1200 species of plants growing in tropic, sub-tropic and frigid zones have been raised. The Bamboo Garden is a paradise for gigantgrass, square bamboo, spot bitter bamboo, bitter bamboo and so on. In the Tree Garden, 319 species of plant are transplanted, with the precious trees such as sago cycas, gingko, Chinese golden larch and Chinese manglietiastrum enjoying themselves there. In the Medicinal-Herb Garden, 464 species of medicinal herb like ginseng, pseudo-ginseng, gastrodia, taxus chinesensis and so on have survived and multiplied. The Expo Garden is a galaxy of plants from all over the provinces of China and foreign countries, among which many are rare and endangered.

To improve the ornamental function of the Expo Garden and the harmony in it, a lot of scenery have been added in the Garden, for example, the 850m-long and 40m-wide Flowery Boulevard consisting of the "Flower Clock", "Flower Boat", "Flower Pillar", "Flower Creek" and "Flowery bloom in New Century"; the scenery combining the Cliff Carve, the "Nine Dragons Spitting Water", the fountain on the Art Plaza, the aqueduct, the reservoir and the Gunshui Dam along the reef and waterwheel and the greenery covered with lotus-shaped Revolving Sightseeing Pavilion. Meanwhile, the Expo '99-theme-oriented sculptures and flower statues set off the natural atmosphere of the Expo Garden by contrast.

The Expo Garden is well equipped with the supporting service facilities. According to the principle of grouping on whole, scattering in part and making it convenient for tourists, the service locations and facilities for tour guide, catering, shopping, accommodations, medical treatment, recreation, artistic performance, telecommunications, management and security are arranged elaborately. The nine crisscrossing sightseeing boulevards link the scenic spots with each other. The tourist battery trucks, baby carriages and passages for the disabled are offered. The 2000 program-controlled telephone exchanges guarantee the convenient and efficient contact with the outside for the tourists. Over 700 information stations offer the tourists multimedia digital transmission service. The Chinese Flavor Snacks Center, the Tea Garden Restaurant, the Garden Restaurant, the International Fast Food Hall, the Commercial Pedestrian Road and various Service Units can meet the demands of tourists for accommodation and purchase. With 400 standard guestrooms in a total, the Logistic Service Center, the Expo Village, the Expo Service Center are the choices for relaxation and entertainment as well. The high-tech sound, light and electric recreation items, with strong on-spot effects, are sure to attract the tourist. The rationally designed and comprehensive supporting service network provides convenient, considerate, excellent and safe services.

A series of varied and colorful activities will be held during 184 days of Expo '99.

Firstly, a welcome banquet, an opening ceremony of Expo '99 plus a grand gala and an opening ceremony of Expo Site will be held on the afternoon of April 30, the evening of April 30 and the morning of May 1. CCTV, CPBS and CIBS will give a live broadcast of the grand gala named "the Romantic Melody of Heaven and Earth". After the solemn opening ceremony of the Expo Site on the morning of May 1, the Expo Garden will be open to the public at 12 o'clock.

Secondly, the activities celebrating the Special Day dedicated to each participating country will be initiated, which demonstrate the international involvement into Expo '99, show the different cultural characteristics of various countries and reflect the desire of world people to pursue peace and to create a bright future.

Thirdly, taking the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China into consideration, during the last ten-day period of September, a series of China Hall Day activities will be performed to introduce the economic development and national unity achieved in the reform and opening-up of Yunnan Province and of the whole nation.

Fourthly, the weekly activities of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities will be held to show the horticulture and gardening, historical and national culture as well as the folk art in different regions and to promote the production and marketing of environment-protecting products and green foods.

Fifthly, all kinds of performance activities focusing on the theme of "Man and Nature" will be held during the Expo.

Sixthly, a series of high level activities such as international conferences and economic, scientific and technical, cultural and academic exchanges will be held.

Seventhly, based on the horticultural and gardening exposition, many competitions will be organized aiming to mobilize the public participation and promote the horticultural development.

Expo '99 will also provide the businessmen from home and abroad with a wide market for exchanges and cooperation, guide people to change the concept of industrial development so as to modify the industrial structure and to explore new consuming markets. It also aims to seek new economic growth way and realize the continuous social and economic development through the 21st industries including environmental protection industry, green industry, health industry and tourism.

Besides the activities related to the Expo '99 directly, some economic and commercial, cultural, scientific and technical and academic exchanges and conferences will be organized. For example, the China Domestic Travel Mart during May 20-23, '99 Kunming Export Commodities Fair during June 6-10, the Six-Province/Region/City & Seven-Side Economic Consultative Meeting in Southeast China at the beginning of June and other commercial, cultural, scientific and technical and academic activities.

In the recent three years, to make the Expo '99 a success, with the personnel, materials and funds from the whole province, Yunnan expands the infrastructure construction, improves the urban conditions and social environment, upgrades the service quality and civilization. As a result, a considerable improvement in Kunming has been witnessed, with the image of the city being beautified and the main functions of a modernized city being formed. Meanwhile, thanks to its attractive environment, wonderful public order and the high-quality service, Kunming has been listed in "the Excellent Tourism Cities" together with Dali, Jinghong and Ruili in Yunnan Province.

Up to now, nine airports have been built and 87 international and domestic air routes have been opened. With the annual handling capacity of some 10 million person-time, the expanded Kunming Airport ranks the fifth largest international airport, following Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Five high-class highways leading to main tourist attractions and scenic spots in the Province have been completed, with a total length of 1700 km. Six pairs of special passenger trains connecting Kunming with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Chengdu and Chongqing and seven pairs of special passenger trains running on 3 passenger lines to the main tourist cities in the Province are in service. In the whole Province, there are 220 scenic spots, 399 tourist agencies, 670 hotels and restaurants, over 2500 deluxe tour vehicles, some 100 tour boats and 200 thousand professional staff involved in tourism.

At the same time, in order to make it convenient for the visitors from home and abroad to have a wonderful sightseeing in Yunnan, the province has developed 25 Essence Scenery Areas and publicized five Essence Tour Routes of Yunnan. They include Expo '99 Tour Hot-Route, Shangri-La in northwest Yunnan, Sino-Myanmar Border Tour, Karst Scenery Tour and Xishuangbanna Tropical Rain Forest and Dai Nationality Tour. 1999 is also the year of Eco-tour promoted by the State Tourism Bureau. Since horticulture is inseparable to ecology, Expo '99 and the '99 Eco-tour are sure to be an excellent integration.

All the preparatory works for Expo '99 have been implemented. We warmly welcome the guests from home and abroad to Yunnan for sightseeing. We believe that Expo '99 will be a complete success.