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Int'l Habitat Festival Opens in Weihai

The Second China International Habitat Festival was launched Friday in Weihai, a coastal city in east China's Shandong Province, with theme of "habitation, tourism and cooperation".

Located at the eastern tip of the Shandong peninsula, Weihai city is known as one of China's renowned garden cities.

The city was twice awarded the Best Practices for Improving Living Environment by the United Nations, and received the UN Habitat Scroll of Honor Awards in 2003, which is the highest honor in the field of improving human settlement all around the world.

The launching of the habitat festival aims at promoting the harmonious development between human and nature and improving human settlement both in China and in the world, said Song Yuanfang, mayor of Weihai city, at the opening ceremony of the festival.

Present at the five-day habitat festival were more than 1,000 officials, experts and representatives from the United Nations Human Settlements Program, Britain, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the United States.

The festival is the largest of its kind ever held in China, said mayor of the city, adding that a large number of activities concerning human settlement were held during the festival, including the international forum on urban planning and tourism development, new energy-saving building and decoration materials fair, international architecture design competition and Sino-foreign famous architecture masterwork show.

According to the mayor, Weihai has become an important window of opening up in northern China. Up to now, the city has established trade and economic relations with over 160 countries and regions worldwide and about 4,700 foreign-funded enterprises have settled in the city.

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2005)

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