Booming China on show to world at Shanghai Expo

Sat May 1, 2010 6:55am EDT
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By Karen Yeung and Rujun Shen

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai opened its multi-billion dollar World Expo to the public on Saturday, showcasing China's booming economy and resurgent national pride, as well as the latest green technology from 189 countries.

Visitors reported long lines, and occasional angry exchanges about queue-jumping, to get into some exhibitions in the enormous Expo site, which is 20 times bigger than the last World Expo held in Spain's Zaragoza in 2008.

Separate tickets for the most popular pavilions, such as China's, were in short supply.

"This is a great event as it's a good forum to communicate with the world," said Shanghai resident Lao Chen. "But it's very disorganized. There are just too many people in China."

Another visitor, a retiree from Shanghai who gave his family name as Zhao, said he was upset not to be able to get into the hulking China pavilion, one of the few that will not be demolished when the six-month extravaganza ends on October 31.

"I will never be able to see it. I can only look at it from the outside, and what's the point of that?" he said, bitterly.

But others said they were enjoying themselves, adding they thought it was money well spent by the Chinese government.

"It's not a matter of money. It's our pride that China can host the Expo," said 30-year-old Ning Lifang, a bank clerk from the nearby city of Suzhou.   Continued...

<p>Fireworks light up the Shanghai skyline during the opening ceremony for the Shanghai World Expo April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Eric Feferberg/Pool</p>