The Offering of the Modern World Expo

As host of the World Expo, Shanghai is opening its doors to the world. But with most of the Expo's visitors hailing from within China, it's much more of an international marketing effort for non-Chinese countries directed at the emerging super power.
June 1, 2010, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The ultimate winners of this contest will be decided not by referees with stopwatches or judges with scorecards but by the 70 million people - mostly Chinese - who are expected to attend the modern world's fair before it ends Oct. 31. The impressions they take away are likely to shape such decisions as where they will go on vacation, where they will study abroad, what countries their companies will do business with and even what kinds of food they will eat.

'While the Beijing Olympics gave China the chance to host the world and show the world what China is, at Expo, the Chinese people are the guests and the various nations are playing host, showing China what the world is,' said Urso Chappell, who runs Expomuseum .com, a Web site documenting the history of such events, starting with the 1851 Great Exhibition in London."

And while World Expos of the past had focused more on interesting inventions and innovations from around the world, some say the modern expo's real offering today is innovative architecture and design.

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Published on Sunday, May 30, 2010 in The New York Times
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