|The nighttime view from the Bund, Shanghai's most famous attraction. China is hosting another big international event on the heels of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Expo 2010 in Shanghai is the largest World Expo in history. By hosting these two major international gatherings, China is demonstrating to the world that it has successfully risen into the ranks of the world's great powers. (Jimmy Lin)
||Shanghai's Expo Axis features six "sun valleys," which are made of glass over steel skeletons. These help to bring sunlight and fresh air to underground spaces and also serve to collect rainwater. They will relieve any sense of stuffiness among visitors in the axis' underground passages. (Jimmy Lin)
In 1970, for the first time ever, a World Expo was held in a city outside of the advanced nations of Europe and the Americas. Japan, which had been experiencing rapid economic growth in the post-war era, had won the right to play host that year. With the theme of "progress and harmony for mankind," the Osaka Expo '70 attracted some 64.22 million visitors, making it the best-attended World Expo in history.
The event held special historical significance for Taiwan too, because the Republic of China would soon leave the United Nations. Osaka ended up being the last time that Taiwan could formally participate in a World Expo as the ROC. The ROC Pavilion was designed by the internationally famous architect I.M. Pei, whose trademark triangular geometries were plainly visible on its design, both inside and out. The pavilion was one of the Osaka Expo's most eye-catching structures.
Beginning in 1970, Taiwan began to leave one international organization after another, and consequently it could no longer make a display of national splendor at these events. Now, 40 years later-thanks to growing goodwill across the strait and the hard work of its government and private sector-Taiwan finally has an opportunity to once again participate at a World's Fair: Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Moreover, Taiwan will be represented there by three pavilions: the Taiwan Pavilion, the Taipei Pavilion and a corporate pavilion built by the Aurora Group, which specializes in office supplies.
For this not-to-be-missed gathering, a reporter from Taiwan Panorama went to Shanghai in late March with two goals: to report on the remarkable transformation of Shanghai and to delve into the negotiations that took place to bring the three Taiwanese pavilions into being. In our next issue we will feature reports on other pavilions, including China's. Be sure not to miss it!
At 6:00 a.m. on March 28, 2010, when most people in Taiwan were in their beds taking in their last hours of slumber, across the Taiwan Strait in Shanghai thousands upon thousands of people were gathering amid the cold wind on the banks of the Huangpu River to have an early look at the glories of the "Oriental Wall Street" and "Shanghai's Champs Elysees."
It was a big day: The ribbon was being cut on the reconstructed Bund. Shanghai residents had endured nearly three years of din and dust and daily traffic jams, awaiting that moment's arrival.
The new Bund was complete: A 3.7-kilometer double-deck underground roadway, with three lanes to each deck, was opening. Meanwhile, the 11 original lanes of above-ground traffic had been cut to four, so that the pedestrian promenade could be expanded. Strollers would be able to survey the distant congregation of office towers across the river in the financial district of Lujiazui. In the foreground, they could watch the boats on the river and examine details on the Bund's 52 works of outstanding classical architecture.
In order to expand the public space here, the Shanghai city government tore down the walls around Huangpu Park and connected it to preexisting green areas of the Bund to create an "urban ecological park." It will give future visitors a greater intimacy with nature as they immerse themselves in the Bund's charms. The Bund, the most famous of the British concessions during the early ROC era, has witnessed so much history, so much pleasure-seeking and debauchery. And no other place is so representative of the intertwining of Chinese and Western culture.