The Shanghai World Expo opens May 1. AP reports:
Just as the Beijing Olympics showed China’s growing economic and geopolitical influence for a few weeks in 2008, the biggest World’s Fair ever will let China’s communist leaders showcase design, tourism and cultural diplomacy over six months.
“The Chinese government is feeling more and more self-confident, but not so confident,” says Ding Xueliang, a China expert at Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology.
“Many ultranationalists hope Beijing will show its hard power, but the government is still very careful. The Expo is a very safe way for them to show China’s soft power,” he said.
The expo opening May 1 in Shanghai is expected to attract 70 million visitors, including an estimated 5 million foreign tourists.