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CHINESE and Spanish officials and media representatives yesterday called for extended cooperation between the two countries in culture and business, especially at the ongoing World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

China's Ambassador to Spain, Zhu Bangzao, addressing the Chinese International Media Summit 2010 in Madrid, told Shanghai Daily that Spanish governments and communitities are very keen on the Expo.

"It's a perfect platform for Spain to introduce its culture and latest developments to the Chinese people," said the ambassador. "Exchanges run two ways. The Expo is also a good opportunity to let more Spaniards to get in touch with China."

Spain's national pavilion in the Expo's Pudong site is one of the most popular pavilions with its theme "From the City of Our Parents, to the City of Our Children." The design of the pavilion weaves together traditional and modern aspects with 8,524 handmade wicker baskets adorning the facade.

In addition to its national pavilion, Spanish regions and cities, including the capital city Madrid, and Barcelona are showcasing their achievements and concepts in city planning and development.

Representatives from Madrid investment and tourism organizations briefed summit participants about their presence at Expo. Madrid's exhibition hall in the Urban Best Practices Area displays ecological technologies which represent an advanced habitation model. The showcase also includes signature "air trees" built from recycled materials and the city's urban facelift efforts.

Santiago Castillo, a senior China correspondent for Agencia EFE who has just returned from the Expo, told the meeting that the event is "amazing" and in many ways very "impressive" with its unprecedented scale.

Ines Galindo, on behalf of the Madrid government, hoped that more Chinese would visit the Madrid pavilion. As a previous hosting country, World Expo rings a bell for most Spaniards.

Huang Ying, principal of a local Chinese-language school, said it would take a group of more than 30 students to visit the Expo later this year. These students are mostly second-generation Chinese immigrants and local Spanish teenagers.

The summit gathers journalists from overseas Chinese media, Spanish journalists, and major Chinese news groups including Wenhui-Xinmin United Press Group, publisher of Shanghai Daily.


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