October 4, 2021
DUBAI (Reuters) – As countries vie for attention at Expo 2020 Dubai, China has gone all out, hoping to take center stage by showing more than 5,000 years of civilization crowned by recent technological advances.
A robotic panda shakes hands with visitors to its pavilion, called “Light of China”, one of the largest at the expo inaugurated last week.
Shaped like a traditional Chinese red lantern, the three-story pavilion aims to attract millions of expected visitors to the world’s first fair to be held in the Middle East.
Built on an area of approximately 4,600 square meters, ‘Light of China’ offers a glimpse into the future: space exploration, robotics and smart cities, and is a source of pride for some of the first Chinese visitors.
“You can see that we are now experiencing rapid scientific development,” said Shao Xiong, a Chinese citizen who was visiting the pavilion.
Dubai, the tourist, commercial and business center of the Middle East, hopes to revive its economy by attracting 25 million visits to the world’s fair, which has been delayed for a year since the pandemic.
Expo 2020 Dubai opened last Thursday with a lavish ceremony of fireworks, music and messages about the power of global collaboration for a more sustainable future.
China, whose pavilion is a few blocks away and around the corner from that of the United States, is keen to emphasize its credentials.
“The theme of the Chinese pavilion is to build a community with a shared future for humanity, innovation and opportunities,” said Fang Ke, deputy director of the Chinese pavilion.
(Reporting by Jacob Greaves, Abdel Hadi Ramahi and Imad Creidi, writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi, editing by Susan Fenton)
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