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February 23, 2010

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'Smartlink' takes global view

LAP-CHEE Tsui, born in Shanghai in 1950, has been the president of the University of Hong Kong since 2002. He received international acclaim in 1989 when he identified the defective gene that causes cystic fibrosis and has won many international awards for his contributions to genetic science.

I am delighted to offer my congratulations to the organizers of World Expo 2010 Shanghai. About 70 million visitors from home and aboard are expected to visit, which will make this event the biggest in the history of world expositions.

Those taking part will be able to explore the theme of World Expo 2010 Shanghai, which is "Better City, Better Life." The organizers know that 55 percent of the world population is expected to live in cities by the year 2010 and that the subject of urban life is one which is of interest to all nations, both developed and developing, and their people.

This exposition aims to allow participants to explore issues of urban civilization comprehensively, exchange experiences of urban development, disseminate advanced notions on cities and explore new approaches to human habitat, lifestyle and working conditions in the new century.

Thus, World Expo 2010 Shanghai is not just a "bridge" between East and West, but an important symbol of China's growing engagement with the world and its increasing leadership role in shaping the future for everyone, in urban settings and beyond. The University of Hong Kong understands the importance of this value-adding perspective, which we describe as being a "smartlink."

The University of Hong Kong has nearly a century of history to its name and a cherished history of nurturing graduates to serve society. Today, it is a comprehensive research-led university with an international staff and student body, and is globally respected for its academic excellence and research accomplishments.

Many of our graduates have also taken residence in or returned to Shanghai over the years and contributed to the growth and development of the great city.

As China continues to grow and establish itself as a world economic power this century, the University of Hong Kong is in the exceptional position of being able to cross-leverage all of its disciplines to meet the multifarious demands of society, locally, nationally and internationally. The university also recognizes its responsibility in training highly qualified people as leaders for Hong Kong, Chinese mainland and the global community.

The University of Hong Kong will continue to leverage its "smartlink" approach and maximize the benefits to societies worldwide that stem from its global outlook. Like the World Expo Shanghai, HKU has a unique role in providing both a physical place and conceptual space for examining historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating community spirit and looking to the future.

Once again, as someone who was born in Shanghai 60 years ago, may I offer my best wishes to the organizers on this happy and historic event.


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