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2010 Expo, Co-Host of Shanghai-Yeosu

Posted December. 17, 2003 22:42,   


It was belatedly revealed that Shanghai, which was selected as the site of 2010 international exhibition (Expo) after a bitter contest with Yeosu, had proposed co-hosting by both Shanghai and Yeosu.

In an economic forum hosted by the Korean consulate in Shanghai on December 16, the vice-director of secretariat of Expo in Shanghai, Zhou Hanmin, said, “I met with a person from the Korean consulate in November 2001 in Paris and proposed co-hosting the event, but there was no reply thereafter.”

If what he said is true, it means that Yeosu could have been selected as the site of the Expo together with Shanghai, and it is expected that this will bring about a matter of responsibility. The proposal doesn’t seem to have been properly reviewed because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries are saying that they knew nothing about it.

On December 17, Kim Kyeong-jae, the chairman of the committee for hosting the Expo, said, “In December of last year, when I was campaigning in Monaco with the 132nd general meeting of Expo secretariat just ahead, I heard from the Chinese delegation that they had proposed co-hosting before.”

At the final fourth vote, Shanghai was chosen over Yeosu by a vote of 54 to 34, but it was difficult to predict the final decision at the time of the second vote when Yeosu and Shanghai received 34 and 38 votes, respectively.

In regard to the proposal for co-hosting, “Shanghai may have proposed co-hosting in order to check the strongest candidate, Moscow, at that time in November 2001,” said a source from the Korean consulate in Shanghai, adding, “I heard that the Korean government also reviewed that proposal.”

Concerning this, “We had considered co-hosting (irrelevant to the proposal from China), but we gave it up because we thought showing timidness was not helpful in getting votes,” said a source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Rae-Jeong Park Yong-Gwan Jung ecopark@donga.com yongari@donga.com