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Clinton Tours Shanghai Expo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Shanghai, China. She visited the U.S. and Chinese Pavilions at the city's international Expo on Saturday.

Secretary Clinton stopped first at the international Expo's USA Pavilion. Its theme highlights American innovation, diversity, opportunity, community service and eco-friendly development.

Part of the American exhibition is a film called "American Spirit", which features Mrs. Clinton.

"Ni hao [Hello in Chinese]. I'm Hillary Clinton and it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the USA Pavilion at Expo 2010," she said.

Secretary Clinton toured the pavilion, which is one of the biggest at the Expo and cost $61 million to build. It was financed through corporate sponsors, several of whom were there to welcome Clinton and show her around their displays.

She also met a small group of Chinese children who gave her artwork they had made. She offered them teddy bears dressed in the colors of the American flag - red, white and blue.

So-called 'student ambassadors' are also a big part of the American pavilion experience. These university students speak excellent Mandarin and interact with the crowd, many of whom have never met an American before.

The pavilion has become one of the most popular, with crowds waiting in lines for up to four hours - even in the rain. U.S. officials say a half million visitors have already passed through the pavilion since it opened May first.

Secretary Clinton also visited the China pavilion, a distinctive 14-story red tower that stands 60 meters high. Inside are antiquities, performers and exhibitions highlighting China's evolution through the centuries and representing all 31 provinces, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Secretary Clinton moved through the exhibition halls, greeting an enthusiastic crowd of mostly Chinese visitors, and stopped for a photo with "Hai Bao" the blue creature that is the Expo mascot.

Clinton told local officials she was very impressed with the Expo, which has pavilions and exhibitions from almost 200 countries spread over a vast stretch of land on both sides of the Huangpu River.

"We think government-to-government relations are very important, but we believe people-to-people relations between the Chinese and the American people are the most important foundation for a very positive future between our two countries," she said.

Secretary Clinton is on the second leg of an Asian tour that began in Japan on Friday. She will continue to Beijing for political and economic talks on Monday, and wrap up the tour in the South Korean capital of Seoul next Wednesday.

A report issued Thursday blaming North Korea for the sinking of a South Korean warship will likely dominate her trip. She told reporters in Tokyo Friday she plans to consult with regional allies on a strong international response to the attack.