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May 2, 2010

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204,000 in the queue as Expo opens up

The World Expo Shanghai formally opened its doors to the public yesterday morning after years of planning and preparation.

Visitors from home and abroad thronged the gates of the Expo Park, forming long queues for security checks. More than 350,000 tickets had been sold or distributed for the opening day, organizers said. By the day's end, organizers said 204,000 visitors had shown up.

Ge Ning, an executive with a sci-tech company in neighboring Jiangsu Province, was among the first to enter the park.

"I'm here to see new inventions concerning science, technology, environmental protection and energy," he said. The USA Pavilion and the exotic pavilions of African countries were also on his list.

"I might only be able to visit five pavilions today," he said, observing the crowds around him.

Top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin and International Expositions Bureau (BIE) President Jean-Pierre Lafon activated the opening device together at a commencement ceremony. In the Expo site, visitors could enjoy pavilions with original designs, explore scientific and technological progress, enjoy various cultural events, and take part in symposiums to fully experience mankind's pursuits for the development of civilization, Jia said.

BIE Secretary-General Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales said the World Expo 2010 would be "the most splendid and unforgettable" and would help the world better understand the present, have a glimpse into the future and strengthen cooperation between countries and organizations.


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