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Remarks at USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo

Remarks at USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Shanghai, China

November 16, 2009

Thank you. Thank you so much. Well, good morning, and let me tell you how pleased I am to be here with all of you in the rain, which means good fortune. (Laughter.) I thank the vice mayor for his very kind words. And to all of our Chinese friends who are here today, we are very grateful for your support of this pavilion.

I want to thank Ken Jarrett and the USA Pavilion Board of Directors. I wish to thank Mr. Yang Xiong, our executive vice mayor. I want to thank Ms. Zhong Yanqun, vice chair. Mr. Hong Hao, director general, Ms Wu, deputy director general, and our friend who is the Chinese ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong. Thanks also to U.S. Commissioner General Jose Villarreal, to our Consul General Beatrice Camp, to Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley and Kris Balderston from our Global Partnerships in the State Department, and to Ellen Eliasoph and the U.S. Pavilion team. Thanks to all of you.

And there are a number of corporate representatives here who I would like to acknowledge, because without your financial support, this magnificent USA Pavilion behind me would not be possible. Our global sponsors, PepsiCo, General Electric Corporation, and Chevron; our newest sponsors, Proctor and Gamble, Yum! Brands, Honeywell, Intel, Pfizer, and Qualcomm, and I want to note a special sponsor, Boeing, which has just agreed to double its contribution to $2 million to support this effort. We’re grateful for your generosity and your steadfast belief in the importance of the expo, the American role here, and what this USA Pavilion can do to strengthen cooperation and partnership between the American people and the people of China.

It is very fitting that this expo will be here in Shanghai, one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in the world. I’m pleased to be here with President Obama and to be back in China after my first trip here as Secretary of State earlier this year. This USA Pavilion will showcase American innovation, it will demonstrate the kind of values that America holds dear – freedom, diversity, teamwork, creativity – and it will be built around the theme “Better Cities and Better Lives.”

I understand there will even be a story told in 4-D. I know there are some in the audience who are still contemplating sponsorship or who may be in negotiations with the USA Pavilion team. Now is the time to join this effort. We want to assemble the strongest team of partners possible. I look forward to returning next summer to see for myself what our pavilion looks like and to tour the magnificent Expo grounds.

There’s a famous American movie called Field of Dreams. And in it, the hero, played by Kevin Costner, builds a baseball field at his remote farm. A lot of people tell him what he’s doing doesn’t make any sense, they think it’s a big risk, but he loves baseball, and he has faith that he can build something that will be meaningful. And during his project which so many people criticize, he keeps hearing “If you build it, they will come.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we believe the same. We are building it, and we believe that when the Expo opens in 166 days, 70 million people will come. And with this rain today, maybe 100 million people, with even greater good fortune, will come. Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Thank you.


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