In 1851, 170 years ago, Xu Rongcun, a merchant from China’s Guangdong province, brought silk to the first World Expo in London, establishing Chinese silk as a global commodity. The World Expo marked the beginning of mutual learning and sharing of development benefits between civilisations. It is regarded as the Olympics of economy, science and technology, and culture.
In 2010, China successfully hosted the Shanghai World Expo with the theme of ‘Better City, Better Life’. China has always been enthusiastic to embrace the advanced achievements of human civilisations. With the annual China International Import Expo since 2018, China has opened its door even wider to innovative products and technologies from around the world.
This year, the long-awaited Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo ever in the Middle East, has finally arrived. The theme of the event, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, perfectly matches that of the era — integration and innovation. In this globalised world, Expo 2020 Dubai is undoubtedly to be a wonderful platform for dialogues between civilisations and a great gathering of people from all over the world.
In his speech at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping pointed out that “a world of peace and development should embrace civilisations of various forms.” The World Expo is precisely a platform for exchanges and mutual learning between civilisations with the mission of promoting cross-cultural encounters and integration. The governments of the UAE and Dubai, which have been committed to diversity and inclusion in their governance, will make the flowers of human civilisations bloom in harmony at this expo by promoting the three subthemes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
The World Expo has been an advocate of innovation and Dubai has been committed to excellence. When the two meet each other, they will surely play the most beautiful music in the history of the World Expo. The Dubai Expo park is the result of a collection of new ideas and innovative technologies. The Dubai Expo Bureau, taking full advantage of cutting-edge technologies in the world, has made green and low-carbon a distinctive feature of this mega event. Its call for creating a green future is just in line with China’s new development philosophy. As President Xi Jinping recently announced, “China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad.” This means that our two countries will have a promising future for cooperation in the new energy field among others.
We will not allow the Covid-19 pandemic to alter the course of human history. The success of Expo 2020 Dubai is an “international certification” of the UAE’s significant achievements in the fight against the pandemic and its economic recovery. It is also a new accomplishment of the UAE in pursuing an independent development strategy. Expo 2020 Dubai will accelerate the revival of Dubai’s economy and give greater momentum to the UAE as an engine of regional economic recovery and a shining beacon for the global economy in the face of the pandemic.
China is delighted that its brother, the UAE, is hosting this World Expo, which China will fully support. The China Pavilion, located in Opportunity District, was one of the first pavilions to be completed and one of the largest foreign pavilions. Furthermore, the number of Chinese enterprises participating in the Expo is more than that of any other World Expos held outside China. The China Pavilion will deliver an exciting exhibition worthy of one’s anticipation. The distinctive lantern shape of the China Pavilion is a symbol of happiness and good fortune. Incorporating the elements of the Four Great Inventions in ancient China, the China Pavilion will light up the Dubai Expo park with Chinese red.
Innovation drives the development of human civilisations, and the fruits of innovation should be shared by all mankind. The success of one country does not mean the failure of another. The world is big enough to accommodate the shared development and progress of all countries. A single flower does not make a spring. The World Expo is like a garden full of flowers. It provides a platform for all countries to showcase their development achievements, allowing the world to share each other’s innovations so as to maximise their value. This will provide more impetus for a new round of innovations and that is why the World Expo can continue to develop.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said: “No one remembers who comes in second place.” With the most participating countries, pavilions and new technologies, Expo 2020 Dubai will surely be the most exciting event ever in the history of the World Expo. Home to the tallest building in the world, Dubai will surely take mutual learning and sharing of development benefits between civilisations to new heights at this Expo.
Li Xuhang is Consul-General of China in Dubai
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