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Expo 2010 Shanghai Welcomes Its 150th Participant
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The 2010 World Expo Shanghai welcomed its 150th participant earlier this week, reaching 75 percent of the target of 200 participants.

"It is an amazing achievement that 150 countries, regions and international organizations have signed up for the Expo in the past 14 months since Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sent out invitations," said Zhou Hanmin, the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination's deputy director general.

"But the work will get tougher afterwards. Everyone is working hard in developing potential participants."

The organizers earlier set a target of 170 participants by the end of this year. Zhou said they will try to achieve more than that if possible.

Four participants who haven't established diplomatic relations with China - Bhutan, Palau, Guatemala and Haiti - indicated earlier that they will participate.

"To contribute to China's multilateral diplomacy is also one of the tasks of the 2010 Expo," Zhou said.

In addition to the recruiting of participants, organizers are now putting their energy into services.

More than 20 confirmed participants are undergoing the second phase of participation - contract negotiation - with the organizers, making the political confirmation to legal contracts.

Zhou said the progress of the preparation for the event had been widely complimented in the international community.

He described the organizer's report on the Executive Committee Meeting of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) on June 5 in Paris as "extremely successful."

BIE also wrote that it appreciated the organizer's effective and diligent work.

Eight special regulations, which cover legal issues related to the Expo, are expected to be passed at the BIE's 141st General Assembly on Monday in Paris, organizers said.

The idea of holding an online Expo to display the pavilions and exhibits online is also expected to be approved by the BIE officials at the meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2007)

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