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January 30, 2010

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Mandate for going greener

IT is a great honor for me to say hello, on behalf of San Francisco, to our sister city Shanghai and sincerely wish you every success to the coming World Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

San Francisco cherishes a close cultural tie with China. Today, our city's Chinese community is the largest and most influential of its kind in the United States. I take great pride in that. As one of the first pair of international sister cities, San Francisco and Shanghai share a long and proud relationship. Recognizing that friendship and Shanghai's importance as an economic center in China, San Francisco chose Shanghai as the site of its first overseas office.

I had the pleasure to visit Shanghai twice, in 2005 and 2008. I was deeply impressed by the city's vigor and spirit as well as its breath-taking growth and progress. Words fail in trying to describe the city. A visit to Shanghai is the best way to appreciate it. I found local people to be hardworking and very proud of their city. I reckon those must be key factors behind Shanghai's phenomenal growth into a world-class metropolis.

We owe our thanks to Shanghai for its cooperation and assistance in our plans to stage San Francisco Week during the World Expo. The presentation will both stand as our tribute to World Expo 2010 Shanghai China and offer us a great opportunity to share San Francisco with the world. During the week, ballet, opera, orchestral and various other cultural and art troupes from San Francisco will put on performances showcasing the cultural diversity of our city.

Of course, I hope this World Expo will be more than a platform for cultural exchange. In view of the constant deterioration of the global environment, I particularly hope the coming exposition will serve as a showcase and a platform for discussing green technologies.

As a global pioneer and leader in environmental protection, San Francisco is willing to share its advanced know-how in creating a greener environment. San Francisco was the first city in the United States to establish the standards of "green buildings." It boasts the largest solar-powered municipal facility in the United States, and runs the biggest fleet of energy-saving vehicles for collecting and transporting wastes. Moreover, the "Urban Environmental Accords: Declaration on Green Cities," initiated by San Francisco, has been adopted and implemented by more than 200 cities around the world. Through our cutting-edge position in the green field, we hope to offer some inspiration and help to a greater number of cities. We believe World Expo 2010 Shanghai China will be a perfect platform for exhibiting and advancing green concepts.

The theme of World Expo 2010 Shanghai China is "Better City, Better Life," which also exemplifies San Francisco's urban strategy over all these years. By 2012, San Francisco will reduce the volume of its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels because greenness and environmental friendliness are the prerequisites for a better city and a better life.

I have had the honor to visit the venues of the coming exposition, which I believe will make a spectacular show this year. I will surely encourage San Francisco residents to visit Shanghai and see the World Expo in 2010.

World Expo 2010 Shanghai China will be a great event. I am looking forward to attending this pageant. Once again, I would like to express our sincere wishes for a successful World Expo 2010 Shanghai China, from which we believe all participants will take away something to enhance their lives.


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