Daily Video

June 3, 2010

China Stands Atop the World Stage with Shanghai Expo

China is currently playing host to the 2010 World Expo – a spectacle made up of elaborate pavilions designed by countries around the world. Analysts say the Expo represents a turning point for China and its growing middle class. Previously, the Expo was held in developed countries, and this is the first time it has been hosted by a developing country, like China, that is looking to gain increased recognition on the world stage.

China’s major trading partners all have a presence at the Expo, from the United Kingdom with a pavilion that looks like a dandelion head, to Australia, with an exhibit that takes visitors through the country’s history. Because the U.S. has a law that restricts the public money available to fund World Expo exhibits, the U.S. pavilion came together at the last minute through donations from private companies solicited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Some Chinese fair-goers told the NewsHour that the U.S. pavilion’s exhibit helped them view the U.S. in a more positive light.

With 70 million visitors to date and 150 nations represented there, China’s Expo has, so far, succeeded in capturing the world’s attention.


“China wants to show off to the world that China now is in the league of family of nations, because, in the past, Expo was only held in developed countries. And this is the first time that a developing country is doing it.” – Mingzheng Shi, director of New York University in Shanghai

“My view of America changed a little bit. From what I saw, America seemed more sincere and friendly.” – Chinese visitor to the American pavilion

“The Expo will serve as an important platform for cultural exchanges, which help Chinese gain a better understanding of other countries.” – Xu Wei, spokesperson, Chinese World Expo

Warm Up Questions

1. Where is China?

2. What type of government does China have?

3. What does “middle class” mean?

Discussion Questions

1. What are the differences between a “developing” and a “developed” country? Is the U.S. developing or developed? What about China?

2. According to the video, what do exhibiting countries at the Expo have to gain from having pavilions there?

3. If you were going to design a pavilion to represent the U.S. at the Expo, what would you include in it? Why?

4. The video discusses China’s growing middle class and the companies, like General Motors, who want to market products to middle class Chinese people. What other types of U.S. companies do you think might want to enter the Chinese market, and why?

Additional Resources

Video Transcript

Reporter’s Notebook: Obesity on the Rise in China

U.S., China Talks Wind Down Without Major Breakthrough

China-Google Battle Over Internet Freedom

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