Last float parade at Shanghai Expo

China holds closing ceremony for Shanghai World Expo

SHANGHAI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — The 184-day Shanghai World Expo came to the end as a closing ceremony started here Sunday evening.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other dignitaries attended the ceremony.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said the Expo has made China and the world come closer together, and a more open, inclusive and culturally advanced China that steadily moves forward will join other countries in the world to usher in an ever brighter future for all.

He said the Expo spirit will be carried forward from generation to generation.

“I am convinced that the vision of ‘Better City, Better Life’ will become reality,” he said.

President of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Jean-Pierre Lafon said Shanghai World Expo an “astounding success”.

“Shanghai shows that with a talented organization, a willing to succeed and an excellent international communication campaign, a World Expo always brings out a true fascination,” he said.

Shanghai Expo, Most-Visited World’s Fair, Winds Down –

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Shanghai Expo, Most-Visited World’s Fair, Winds Down –

SHANGHAI—World’s Fairs through history have demonstrated technological innovations, from the telephone to mainframe computing. The first one in China that ends Sunday in Shanghai, fittingly for the world’s most populous nation, showcased crowds.

Over six months, around 73 million people packed national and theme displays, an average of 397,000 daily spread over an area roughly the size of New York City’s Central Park. Guinness World Records says it may launch a new category to reflect the Shanghai Expo numbers, and doesn’t currently list any peacetime gathering larger than the 20 million in 2001 for an Indian pilgrimage known as Kumbh Mela.

Like the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Expo featured a dazzling opening ceremony and stifling security measures. But while the Olympics were designed to introduce the new China to a global audience, Shanghai’s Expo was a pageant of foreign nations coming out to the Chinese people.

The $24 mini-world tour, however, translated into huge queues. “Undeterred by the searing heat or soaking rain, [visitors] waited patiently in long lines to witness this much anticipated event,” China’s premier, Wen Jiabao said on a final-day visit Sunday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency….

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