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3rd China-ASEAN Expo Honors 11 'Cities of Charm'
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Eleven "Cities of Charm" showcased the culture, features and development of their countries at the 3rd China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning International Convention & Exhibition Center from October 31 to November 3.

The cities chosen are:

Shanghai of China -- An oriental metropolis with all of life's glamour, focuses on its historical background, modern prosperity and future expectations.

Banda Seri Begawan of Brunei Darussalam -- The "Venice of the East," is the biggest on-water village in the world. The villas on the water combined with the vast sea and the tropical forest compose a beautiful landscape.

Phnom Penh of Cambodia -- "Small Paris," is the political, cultural, business and transportation center of the country, with colorful culture present throughout and French-style architecture lining the streets.

Semarang of Indonesia -- The "Witness of China-Indonesia Friendship," was named after Zheng He, a Chinese admiral during the Ming Dynasty who visited here some 600 years ago. Dotted with Chinese-style temples, western-style buildings and Java-style houses, the city is a combination of different cultures.

Vientiane of Laos -- A famous historical city, known for its Buddha temples, rural views, colorful national costumes and wonderful food.

Penang of Malaysia -- The "Silicon Valley of the East," is the biggest electronic industrial base of the country. It is set on a beautiful island across from Malay Peninsula, with Pinang trees everywhere, also known as the "beryl on the Indian Ocean."

Bagen of Myanmar -- "City of Ten thousand Towers," is famous for its over two thousand Buddhist towers and fancy lacquer artworks.

Manila of the Philippines – "New York in Asia," is the most European styled city in Asia. It is renowned for the charm of its sunsets and its splendid old Spanish cathedral.

Singapore City of Singapore -- "World Garden," is one of the biggest ports in the world and an important international financial center. Tropical plants and trees everywhere in the city make it a green haven.

Khon Kaen of Thailand -- the Sister City of Nanning, has been the birthplace of many flourishing civilizations and cultures, where the first ever dinosaur fossils were found.

Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam -- "The Leading Force of Vietnam's Economy," is the country's commercial and industrial center, and provides the best environment for investment.

Covering a floor space of 2,520 square meters, the "Pavilion of Cities of Charm" was 39.2 percent larger than it was on the previous China-ASEAN Expo. It has become the limelight of the Expo and attracts many visitors everyday.

The delegates from these cities represent their countries' respective uniqueness, and shared their views on the possibility of cooperation at a forum held yesterday. The places of interest, scenic spots, resorts, traveling routes and tourist services of the countries/regions were fully introduced and displayed, to present to the audience business opportunities of each country in the regard of tourism, culture, education, science & technology and social development.

Top officials from ASEAN countries, including H.E. Kep Chuk Tema, the governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, and Yiamsuriya Palusook, vice governor of Khon Kaen Province, addressed the forum. Some professionals and experts also made presentations for potential cooperation projects between China and ASEAN countries.

Dr. Liu Simin, special researcher in tourism studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), suggested that China and Vietnam could learn from the experience of the City of Niagara Falls, by building a waterfall city near the cross-border Detian international waterfall, with all relevant facilities being established, in a bid to strengthen the China-Vietnam ties and promote the local tourism industry.

Starting from this year, the "Cities of Charm" will be a special feature of future incarnations of the CAEXPO.

( by staff reporter Xu Lin, November 2, 2006)

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