A Wicked Craft Show-off Gathering
( 2010-04-24 )

 A Wicked Craft Show-off Gathering

Since 1840, Western powers have intermittently invaded this huge but weakened country, nearly eliminating China. But China is a country with a legacy of talent. Confucians believed in cultivating their moral character and maintaining a well-ordered state. Their bravery protected the country from ruination.

The Chinese wanted to learn from the world. They exerted themselves to shake off the mentality of a timeless continuity formed by thousands of years and to learn from the West. So, as an exhibitor, China has opened itself to the world by developing countless ties through the World Exposition.


 China Pavilion at 1851 London World Fair(163.com)


The first Chinese visitors to World Expositions attended independently. Wang Tao went to the 1867 Paris World Expo and toured London's Crystal Palace. At the time, the Chinese had dismissed the World Exposition as a "Wicked Craft Show-off Gathering," derived from their understanding of technology being diabolical tricks and wicked crafts, demonstrating a failure to think deeply about how technology improved the world, influencing and developing a new sense of civic values.

The first participation of China in World Expo was at the 1873 Vienna World Exposition. However, China's participation was peculiar -- the nation was represented by a British man named E.C.Bowra, sent by the British Head of China's General Taxation Administration, a man called Herde. After 1840, all the Customs and foreign trade affairs of China were entrusted to foreigners. The representative was sent to expand China's business contacts with foreign countries and thereby gain greater profits.

The first World Exposition attended by China with its own representative was the 1876 Philadelphia World Expo. A man named Li Gui acted as the representative of China's industry and commerce. He was a wise, brave and tactful man of moral integrity. He wrote a book named New Records of World Tour, recording the 1876 Philadelphia World Expo. Although he was the only Chinese in the delegation from China, it was after all China's first official participation in the World Expo. Chinese exhibits were packed in 520 cases, worth 200,000 Liang Silver. The exhibition area of China was smaller than that of Japan and insufficient for proper exhibition. This was not because of an uneven division of exhibition area, but because China had not expected to display so many products. The products and power of the Western countries deeply touched the Chinese people who abandoned their philosophies and resolved to save China.

In 1915, China participated in the Panama World Exposition and won awards for its Maotai alcohol and Keya Aquavit produced by Zhangyu Vintage Company. Maotai alcohol received much acclaim and was awarded second prize as an alcoholic beverage. Keya Aquavit was awarded four gold medals and the top award, so it was renamed Golden Award Aquavit.

Return to the World Exposition

Thereafter, war restricted China's attendance at World Expositions. It was not until the 1982 America Knoxville World Expo that China returned to the World Expo circuit. China sent delegations to the following World Expos: the 1982 America Knoxville World Exposition, the 1984 New Orleans Rivers World Exposition, the 1985 Tsukuba Science and Technology World Expo, the 1986 Vancouver Transport World Expo, the 1988 Brisbane Relaxation World Expo, the 1990 Osaka World Gardening Expo, the 1992 Spain Seville World Expo, the 1992 Genoa Ship and Ocean World Expo, the 1993 Taejon World Expo, the 1997 Quebec Follows World Expo, the 1998 Portugal Lisbon World Expo, the 1999 China Kunming World Gardening Expo and the 2000 Germany Hannover World Exhibition. The charm and spirit of China again received worldwide attention.

The history of China's participation in World Expo reflected the ups and downs of China from decline to rejuvenation.

However, modern Chinese believed that the universal exhibitions were too competitive, and not entirely without reason. This was almost true in an age of human pride. In the second half of the 20th century, especially after World War II, human beings reviewed their existence, hoping to set up new beliefs on the ruins of war. This is no longer an age of human pride. Instead we are becoming increasingly modest as we determine our place in the eternity of nature. People are calling for all races to share the power and intelligence of mankind to resolve the issues of existence. Humanity needs to make a concerted effort to address the hole in the ozone layer, the increasingly serious desertification of land, environmental pollution, unsustainable use of resources, and weapons of mass destruction. Humanity must unite to remove the threats to human existence. While it started as an arrogant display of national wealth, the World Exposition now looks to global unification, a common dream of all human beings. Thirty-five years ago, Martin Luther King Junior, a great American, expressed his visionary faith in the future: "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

This is the dream of the World Exposition.


Source: Shanghai 2010 Expo Official Website

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China and the World Expo