China.org.cn has invited Mr. Zhou Hanmin to talk about Shanghai's preparations for the World Expo 2010 and other issues.
Mr. Zhou Hanmin (R) talks about Shanghai's preparations for the World Expo 2010.
Mr. Zhou is the Vice Director of Shanghai World Expo Executive Committee and a standing committee member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (Mr. Zhou's full CV).
The following is a full transcript of the interview:
David Ferguson:Good morning and welcome to China.org.cn. I am David Ferguson and I am delighted to be able to invite you this morning to a live broadcast with Professor Zhou Hanmin.
Zhou Hanmin: Hi.
David Ferguson:Professor Zhou is the vice director of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai Executive Committee and a member of the Standing Committee of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Professor Zhou, welcome to China.org.cn and thank you for taking time from what must be a very busy schedule to meet our netizens this morning.
Professor Zhou will be familiar to many netizens. He has a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and a teacher in the field of international economic and commercial law, specializing in such topics as GATT and the WTO. He was assigned to Paris in 2002 to take charge of Shanghai's successful bid for World Expo 2010. Professor Zhou, if I might move on to the first question:
In 2002 when Shanghai was awarded the 2010 Expo, the BBC reported that the people of the city were celebrating in the streets. 7 years on is the general view of Expo in Shanghai still so positive?
Zhou Hanmin: When the excitement was going on in Shanghai streets, I was in Paris, as a matter of fact in Monaco for the voting. After a very serious competition with another four or five countries, namely Russia, South Korea, Mexico, and Poland – at that moment Argentina withdrew due to the internal financial crisis, so the final round of competition was just for five countries. After four rounds of votes China got the honor to host the World Expo 2010.
I was also interviewed overseas by live line to understand what I was thinking at that moment. Frankly speaking I had a very peaceful mind at that moment because after the very great endeavor in the bidding, the victory was to be expected. However I am not going on to let you have the full picture of the past. I will just try stick to the question you ask for.
Is it still positive? The answer is yes and even more because people understand very well this is not a city endeavor. This is a responsibility and honor for the whole nation – the first time a developing country in the world is going to host a registered world exposition. Expositions can be classified into two categories: The first one we call a large one, a "world-registered' expo, a smaller one we call "recognized". In the whole history of world expositions, ever since the first one was held in London in 1851, this is the first time a developing country is going to host the World Exposition.
So at that moment we had a kind of very important guideline for our work. If we try to bring Expo home it means we bring the whole world home. That's why we hope all countries around the world, no matter big or small, rich or poor, no matter the geographical locations or even no matter the political relations with China, with or without formal and diplomatic relations with China, no country should be marginalized from this very land.
So this is the first and foremost commitment – to let the Shanghai Exposition be a platform for a peaceful dialogue among different civilizations and nations. And second, we try to have or we try to attract over 70 million visitors in total. These too are kept up in our mind with strong support nationwide as well as worldwide.