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Locke sings praises of Expo city

THE US Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo would display the innovation and culture of America, which had a forward-looking and positive relationship with China, US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said in Shanghai yesterday.

Locke told Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng that the United States took the opportunity of the World Expo seriously on a number of levels, including the promotion of US-China ties.

"There is no better city to host the World Expo with the theme of 'Better City, Better Life' than such a diversified and vibrant city as Shanghai," he said. "It's the right place at the right time for the entire world."

Locke said the US would showcase the country's technology, services and lifestyle to Expo visitors.

The event provided a perfect platform to demonstrate the technology of clean energy, which may become "the greatest opportunity of the 21st century," he said.

Han said the World Expo would boost bilateral exchanges between China and the US in areas including the economy, trade, culture and technology.

Locke was in Shanghai to kick-start the construction of the US Pavilion, which began in earnest yesterday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a letter of congratulations.

"The US is proud to participate and President Obama and I are committed to doing everything we can to support your work," Clinton said in her letter to US Expo Commissioner General Jose Villarreal.

She had doll of Shanghai Expo mascot Haibao in her office to show the importance she placed on the 2010 event.

Microsoft yesterday announced it had become the 13th sponsor for the US Pavilion. Three US firms, Wal-Mart, the NYSE Euronext and Intel, joined the sponsors' list on Thursday, thanking Locke for his support and encouragement.

The Expo organizer and the city government had waited for this moment for a long time, Shanghai Vice Mayor Yang Xiong said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the US Pavilion in Pudong yesterday.

"I'd like to thank the active participation of the US government and business society on behalf of the organizer and the Shanghai government," Yang said.

The US Pavilion will be composed of three parts -- two elliptical buildings and a circular theater -- and will feature three chapters: the pre-show, the main show and the post-show, with a theme of "Celebration 2030."

The main show, to be staged in the theater, would incorporate state-of-the-art audio-visual and special-effects technology, known as a four-dimensional movie, said Greg Lombardo, brand development director of BRC Imagination Arts.

BRC, a California-based firm, has been chosen to design and produce the show content for the pavilion.

The main show would be a dramatic multi-media experience allowing visitors to see the American city of the future, Lombardo said in a phone interview.


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