MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Please give a warm welcome to the commissioner general of the USA Pavilion, Jose Villarreal.
MR. VILLARREAL: Where is Lavinia? Oh, there you are. Ni hao. Welcome to the USA Pavilion.
One of the things that I am most proud of is the role being served by our student ambassadors. Two weeks ago they helped me welcome President Hu Jintao to our pavilion. And tonight, representing all student ambassadors, is Lavinia Pement of Chicago, who will be translating for me.
This is obviously a very exciting day, as we celebrate U.S. participation at the Shanghai World Expo. It is a day that some doubted would ever come. But in the true spirit of our pavilion theme of rising to the challenge, we triumphed, and we are here today.
It is especially exciting, because all of the key participants are here with us, including our financial sponsors, our government officials, the USA Pavilion board of directors, the Shanghai ex-pat community, and our Chinese Expo partners, who have worked with us, hand in hand.
I would like to acknowledge Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Consul General Bea Camp for their continuous support and guidance.
Let me also say to our Chinese Expo friends that you have made me, our student ambassadors, and our entire USA Pavilion staff feel totally at home in Shanghai. And for that we are profoundly grateful.
Tonight we are privileged to be joined by the person who brought us all here today, and the person most responsible for U.S. participation at the Shanghai World Expo. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome U.S. Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton.
MR. VILLARREAL: Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
SECRETARY CLINTON: You have done so well with it. Thank you, and good evening. And welcome to the USA Pavilion, here at Shanghai Expo. I want to thank Jose for that introduction, but I want to thank him more for his leadership as Commissioner General. When I asked Jose to take on this important responsibility, he knew that we had not built the pavilion, he knew that we had not raised all the money for the pavilion. And I told him, "Well, Jose, you and I will have to go and build it, and then entertain people."
And I am very pleased to note that, in recognition of the importance of the Shanghai World Expo to advancing U.S.-China relations, President Obama has accorded Jose the personal rank of Ambassador.
So we will now, I guess, call you Ambassador Commissioner General.
Establishing an American presence at this Expo worthy of our great country was quite a journey.
There is a poem from the Southern Song Dynasty that reads: "After endless mountains and rivers that leave doubt whether there is a path out, suddenly one encounters the shade of a willow, bright flowers and a lovely village." Well, I am very pleased that we have finally arrived at our lovely village.
This was a real team effort, a partnership that brought together our government, the private sector, the Chinese-American community, and so many friends and supporters. So, let me offer a few thank-yous.
To Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Consul General Bea Camp, and all the men and women of the U.S. Mission in China, we thank you.
To Ken Jarett and the board, staff, and volunteers of the USA Pavilion, including our student ambassadors who represent not just the welcoming spirit of our Pavilion, but the openness of our country. And to Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley and her deputy, Kris Balderston, and our corporate partners -- your generosity and commitment has made all of this possible. And I am very grateful to each and every one of you.
And finally, I want to express our deep appreciation to our Chinese hosts. It is a great honor to have with us Ambassador Zhang, Vice Foreign Minister Cui, Vice Finance Minister Li, and Vice Mayor Tang here with us this evening. Earlier today I had the privilege of visiting the China Pavilion, with its sweeping panorama of a great nation. The ancient Riverside scroll, which depicts another period of dramatic change and development, has been transformed through the magic of technology into a vivid symbol of the new China. This entire Expo, the largest in history, is a testament to the hospitality and energy of the Chinese people. And all around us we see that the glory of the past is matched by the dynamism of the present and the promise of the future.
The shape of that future depends, to a significant degree, on the evolving relationship between the United States and China. If our relations are defined by win-win solutions rather than zero-sum rivalries, we will thrive and prosper together. Now, we may not always agree on every issue, but we should seek and seize opportunities such as this Expo to build greater understanding between our peoples.
This USA Pavilion embodies many of the qualities that make my country a vibrant and prosperous nation: innovation, sustainability, diversity, the free exchange of ideas. And it is a model of environmental responsibility. And I am proud to announce that the Pavilion will be carbon neutral for the entire duration of the Expo.
700,000 people have already visited this pavilion. And one of the most moving displays is the tribute to the millions of Chinese Americans who have contributed so much to the cultural and economic development of the United States. From Yo-Yo Ma to I.M. Pei to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Energy Secretary Chu, Chinese-Americans have achieved great success in business, government, the arts, sciences and sports. And, to that end, I was pleased to hear that the Buffalo Bills have recently drafted the first Chinese-American to play in the NFL.
But we also celebrate those Chinese-Americans whose names are not well known to us. And thousands have sent photographs and testimonials documenting the Chinese experience in the United States. And it represents a true pageant of American life.
I.M. Pei, the great architect who built the John F. Kennedy library in Boston, along with many other notable buildings, said that he hoped people who went to the Kennedy Library experienced "revived hope and promise for the future.” And I believe all of us can see that hope and promise here, in Shanghai.
And we have already been entertained by some of the young people who represent the future. I want to thank the Shanghai Music Conservatory string quartet that played for us during the reception. We are going to be hearing from the Parker Ossel Folish (ph) Trio, who will be playing during dinner. These are three young Americans who make their home here, in Shanghai. And then, after dinner, we will be entertained by an extraordinary group of young talent from California State University Northridge and Shanghai Normal University, who have joined forces to present a singing tribute called "Meet Me at the Expo."
Thank you again to everyone who helped to make this evening and this pavilion possible. You have enabled me to sleep through the night once again. Thank you all very much.
MR. VILLARREAL: Thank you, Madam Secretary. And now, on behalf of our many sponsors, I would like to introduce PepsiCo chief executive officer, Indra Nooyi, for a special presentation.
MS. NOOYI: Madam Secretary, Mr. Commissioner General, your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to present a gift to the USA Pavilion and the Chinese people, as a gesture of support for the Shanghai World Expo, and a gesture of friendship and respect for the people of China.
These panda sculptures are replicas of the (inaudible) peace and harmony, the beautiful and striking icons of the Shanghai Expo. They have been created by the world-famous Chinese artist, Zhang Wan (ph), who is, of course, the creator of the original panda sculpture which greets all Expo guests near the Chinese pavilion. These two smaller panda sculptures will remain here at the USA Pavilion, so as to welcome the Chinese people and all those who come through the doors of the USA Pavilion.
Madam Secretary, it is in this spirit of peace and harmony, and with great friendship and respect, that we present this gift to the USA Pavilion and the Chinese people. Thank you.