World Expo Hard to Swallow for Shanghai Residents

May 6, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015
Huangpu River at night, Shanghai, China. (cedventure/Wikipedia)
Huangpu River at night, Shanghai, China. (cedventure/Wikipedia)

Although the Shanghai Expo just opened on April 30, many Shanghai residents are already fed up with road closures, rushing crowds, police body searches, and rising prices. They cannot help but wonder how they will survive the next six months like this.

Coping with changes

The Shanghai Public Security Bureau stated that to ensure the safety and smooth operation of the Expo, that part of the Lujiazui District related to the Expo would be under tight traffic control from April 29 to May 2. Those people who work around the area were even more dismayed to find that the public buses had changed routes without notice.

On the day of the opening ceremony, the roads were closed in the surrounding areas and even the buses were not allowed to get in nor the subways to stop. Many people had to walk for at least half an hour to the stations outside the area. One gentleman who works in the area said, “Just because of the Expo, the traffic is a big mess. If some VIP decides to visit somewhere, we are in deep trouble with road closures and traffic controls. Who knows how long it will take us to get home? How annoying this is!”

Another young man carries a foldable bike as his replacement vehicle in times of traffic problems. However, because this foldable bike was considered a transportation device by the traffic police, the young man was not allowed to go through the controlled area with the bike.

One female resident told The Epoch Times that because of the Expo, prices have risen a great deal but not salaries. For example, a favorite vegetable usually costs about one yuan per pound, but with the Expo, 1 pound now costs as much as four yuan. “The prices of most everyday items started to rise, not on the opening day of the Expo but way before,” she added.

A young lady who works in Shanghai told us that the Expo is indeed a disturbance. In the service industries, especially in hotels and restaurants, all employees have to go through a police body search in order to get to work. She said, “Security is not only in the subways, but also at work. It’s a waste of time and energy. These policemen are used to a very relaxed working style, but now they are assigned to different places to perform security checks. Even the police themselves are complaining.”

North Korean display

Along with the hardships for local residents, the visit of Kim Jong-Il and North Korea’s Expo booth have struck a satirical chord. A North Korean bureaucrat scrambled to find justifications for the expensive display that represents the impoverished and backward country as a “Paradise for the People,” while the trickle of mostly Chinese tourists gawked at the propaganda on display and remarked how it reminds them of the bad old days under Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Countries such as North Korea and Iran have promotional displays at Shanghai 2010.

Read the original Chinese article