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March 10, 2010

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Patriot clinches successful Expo bid

ZHOU Hanmin, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the CPPCC and deputy director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination

Time is like an arrow, slipping away quickly. In the blink of an eye, we are less than two months from the opening ceremony of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

I am proud that as a member of the China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA), I played a major role in lobbying for China's successful bid to host the Expo.

I began my Expo push work eight years ago, and today I will spare no effort, along with many others, to make the Expo a successful, wonderful and memorable event and to make mankind's grand hope come true in Shanghai.

It all began in November 2001, at the critical moment for China's Expo bidding effort, when I was appointed China's delegate to the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) and the deputy director of the Expo 2010 Shanghai China Bidding Office.

In January 2002, I embarked on my official duties and went to Paris on the one-year final Expo dash for Shanghai. This enabled me to dedicate my patriotism as a democratic party member to the nation's diplomatic efforts.

The final leg of the bidding was full of twists and turns.

My most important work in Paris was to lobby other BIE delegates and win their support for China's Expo bid. At that time, the BIE had 89 member countries. Geographically, 22 of them were from Asia, 12 from Africa, 27 from Europe, 25 from America and three from Oceania. Economically, one-third of them are developed countries while the rest are developing countries.

Of the member countries, 10 did not have diplomatic relations with China. Members' delegates to the BIE held positions at different diplomatic levels and were based in Paris, Brussels and London.

All these factors made effective lobbying a tough challenge.

In the following year I visited all BIE delegates, some several times, some more than 20 times.

Finally, we won and the successful bid not only won dignity for the nation but also respect from other BIE delegates, even from other competing countries.


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