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April 23, 2010

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All systems go for successful opening

AS the start of World Expo 2010 Shanghai approaches, final preparations are being made to get the site ready for local and foreign visitors.

On entering the Expo grounds, visitors will be first attracted by the iconic China Pavilion, a magnificent structure draped in red cloth.

The seashell structure of the Performance Center along the Huangpu River looks like it is ready to fly away at any time. The rectangular 400-meter-long Expo Center along the river has become the longest structure on the waterway.

The Expo Boulevard looks like a jade belt on the site with six "Sunny Valleys" resembling flowers. The boulevard, which will be the main underground entrance linking Metro Line 13 (known as the Expo Line), can be seen from both the Huangpu River and Hongshan Road in Pudong north of the Expo site.

On the Puxi side, six corporate pavilions built by 12 state-owned enterprises are lit up every night as trial operations start.

Visitors can sit in a cockpit and "pilot" a plane in a virtual-reality exhibition in the Space Pavilion. They can embark on a joyous journey filled with discovery and inspiration in the Space Home Pavilion.

The Information and Communication Pavilion takes visitors on a fun, interactive journey exploring cutting-edge information and communication technologies. The State Grid Pavilion, named "Magic Box," is designed to be a metallic square with a crystal cube embedded inside.

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Pavilion is in a renovated old factory and adds a new shape to the former plant. Visitors can preview new modes of shipping and also experience life in the future "water world."

In the China National Petroleum Corporation Pavilion, visitors can travel across time and experience stories based on petroleum in an eight-minute film played in the modern 4-D theater.

The 42 stand-alone pavilions are generally true to their artists' renditions.

People walking through the main entrance toward the China Pavilion will see the Israel Pavilion which resembles a blue and white seashell. The Japan Pavilion is draped in purple cloth and looks like an ellipse balloon on the ground.

Two distinctive structures are the Pakistan and Oman pavilions, both inspired by famous historic structures. The Saudi Arabia Pavilion is still wrapped in steel beams but has taken the shape of a huge boat.

The facade of the Australia Pavilion looks like it's rusting but it has used a special steel which will change color in response to Shanghai's temperature and humidity during the 184 days.


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