BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Overseas Chinese hailed the opening ceremony of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo Friday, saying it was a "perfect example of integration of Chinese characteristics and world diversity."
"As an overseas Chinese, I feel so proud to see such a great event being hosted by China, and I feel the same excitement as was in Beijing Olympic games," said He Xiaohui, a Chinese community leader in Washington.
She said the performance stage used blue as its main color, a color that represents peace and harmony, which echoes the theme of the expo.
"The Shanghai Expo could be a good opportunity. On the one hand, it will make the world better understand the world. Meanwhile, and more importantly, it will make the world better understand China."
In Germany, Fu Chunping, chairman of the federation of Chinese associations, said he was deeply impressed by (Jean-Pierre Lafan, president of Internatinal Exposition Bureau)'s long sentences of Chinese in his address, which "showed the world's recognition of the Chinese culture."
Fu said Chinese people in Germany were proud of the homeland and wished the Shanghai Expo a full success.
In Italy, ethnic Chinese got together and watched the televised opening ceremony, describing it as a showcase of China's development.
Though a work day, many local Chinese gathered in the Wenzhou Bar in downtown Rome to watch the live broadcast from China's CCTV channel 4.
As an organizer of local Chinese, Xiaomin Chen told Xinhua that many Chinese came to the bar earlier for the celebation. "Some even cancelled their appointments and other social activities to watch the opening ceremony, because it is the most important thing for them today, they won't miss the chance."
"Now they watch TV, some of them have already arranged their trip to China to visit the World Expo in Shanghai. They usually leave for Shanghai in August because many Italians will go abroad for vacation," he said.
Zhengxi Chen, another organizer, told Xinhua the Shanghai Expo was an opportunity both for China and the world, especially at a time when the world was suffering from the impact of the financial crisis.
For local Chinese in Italy, the World Expo in Shanghai was also a historical chance to learn new knowlege and creative ideas, he said.
In South Korea, Chinese students there used their cellphones, MSN and emails to share the excitement of the opening ceremony.
Zhang Leisheng, a student at Yonsei University, said he was very exicted after watching the gala live through the Internet with his Chinese compatriots.
"The spectacular ceremony made me feel very proud to be a Chinese," he said.
Over 100 years ago, when China took part in London's World Expo, it was just playing a supporting role and now it had become a host of World Expo, said Pu Bo, a student at Sungkyunkwan University, adding that he was very pleased with a stronger China.
The Shanghai World Expo opened Friday night with artistic performances, fireworks and high technologies that epitomized 159 years of Expo history.
Thousands of people watched the gala live at the futuristic, UFO-shaped Shanghai Expo Cultural Center, a centerpiece facility at the Expo Park, while thousands more enjoyed fireworks, lights and fountains on the waterfront promenade, the Bund.
It is the first time the 159-year-old World Expo has been held in a developing country.