EU Ambassador: Shanghai Expo improves China's soft power

16:54, October 25, 2010      

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The Shanghai World Expo is a great investment in education for all citizens, has achieved great success and greatly improves China's soft power, said Serge Abou, E.U. Ambassador to China, when interviewed by reporters for China News Service recently.

The Shanghai Expo made a breakthrough in the number of exhibitors, visitors and organizers and has undoubtedly promoted the development of China-E.U. ties, which also proves Shanghai is a city with international attractiveness, Abou said.

Abou said the Shanghai World Expo has had a huge impact on China in three aspects.

First, it allowed ordinary Chinese people to know about the world's civilizations and development in a short time. The Expo opened a window for Chinese people, and they learned specific knowledge about most of the countries worldwide through the Expo.

Second, the Expo is an excellent investment in education, and it will be one of the biggest intangible assets. Abou said all the visitors to the Expo have been deeply educated under the theme "Better City, Better Life." They have learned how to solve the problem of urban pollution, how to reduce energy consumption and how to develop more environmentally-friendly technology. It is a valuable intellectual investment, he said.

Abou said that he had paid visits to the poor areas of western China and found some people do not easily understand concepts such as clean energy and zero carbon emissions. But through the Expo they can learn a lot of relevant information, which will be helpful when selecting the mode of economic development in some areas.

Third, the Expo enhanced China's international image and Shanghai's international reputation. In the eyes of ordinary Europeans, Shanghai has the Western legacy of the last century and modern, progressive and fashionable features. The Expo will attract more investors and visitors.

This year marks the 35 anniversary of the establishment of China-E.U. diplomatic ties, Abou said, and China-E.U. ties have never been so rich and deep. As the world ushers in a multi-polar era, in which China and the European Union are both important, enhancing mutual understanding of is becoming increasingly vital.

"I am happy to see that through the Expo, both the Chinese media and the public have had more understanding and good impressions of the European Union," Abou said. "The best investment is investment in people, and I hope the two countries seize the opportunities to continue to strengthen non-governmental exchanges, promote tourism, education and economic and trade exchanges."

By Liang Jun, People's Daily Online


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