SHANGHAI, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Flags of 189 nations and 57 international organizations were hoisted Friday morning in the Shanghai World Expo venues, along with the World Expo Bureau flag and the Shanghai Expo flag, signaling the formal entry of all participants.
After the ceremony held at 8:30 a.m. in front of the China Pavilion, all flags will fly over the Expo venue in next 184 days of the Shanghai World Expo.
"The Shanghai World Expo will enhance the friendship and exchanges among people worldwide and leave a rich and valuable legacy about the better life of human beings," said Yang Xiong, deputy mayor of Shanghai, at the ceremony.
Vicente Gonzales Loscertales, secretary-general of the International Exhibition Bureau (BIE), said that the flags of the official participants represent the commitment of the international community to take part in the global dialogue that Shanghai Expo is fostering.
"These flags remind us that we have come together as a global community under one goal to pursue cultural, economic and social innovation for 'Better City, Better Life'," he said.
Zheng Henian, 64-year-old retired worker of a Shanghai machinery plant, lived in a neighborhood 500 meters away from the square. He brought his 94-year-old mother to the flag raising ceremony on Friday morning.
"I am really looking forward to the Expo. I have got tickets from my neighborhood committee," he said. "I want to take my mother to visit the China Pavilion in next few days."