Friday, December 12, 2008

No show US in Shanghai?


The Shanghaiist blog is a good place to keep up-to-date with what's happening up there on the east China coast. There's not usually too much, though, directly related to our business interests. Today, however, there's a very interesting post about the likely absence of the United States from the 2010 World Expo.

It links to a site dedicated to launching a US pavilion. The basic line is:

Beginning on May 1, 2010, and continuing for six months, the nations of the world will gather in Shanghai to participate in what is forecast to be the largest, most heavily attended Worlds Fair in history. Incredibly, without immediate and decisive action on the part of America’s leaders in commerce and in government, the United States of America will be glaringly absent from this global celebration.

The result would be an insult to the Chinese government, global humiliation for the American people, and a serious blow to U.S. commercial prospects in the vast Chinese and other regional markets. The repercussions could reverberate for decades. We don’t want this to happen!

According to the Shanghaiist, this is due a diplomatic snit in the early 1990s when Congress passed legislation forbidding government funding of world fair pavilions. It says the US subsequently withdrew from the Bureau Internationale d'Expositions. Who knew?

4 comments:

Dan said...

"global humiliation?"

Anonymous said...

To Dan's comment: when as a nation you are in the habit of instructing others what to do to remain communal and civil, and then don't show up the one time in 10 years when everyone gets together -- yes, you could be humiliated, globally.

(This happened when the US didn't show up at Hanover 2000, slighting the EU and resulting in lasting diplomatic damage.)

This cut-off-you-nose-to-spite-your-face attitude is especially annoying if your hand's out for financial help from the hosts.

The US absence so far is a legacy of the last Administration. Hopefully the new Congress and President will set things right and create a US presence that is a tribute to America's "Yes, We Can!" spirit and to our place in the world.

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