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英语时差:水与永续会议西班牙开幕

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2019年03月14日

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Expo 2008, themed on the world's dwindling water resources, opened in the Spanish city of Zaragoza on June 14, days after the riverside site narrowly escaped flooding.

King Juan Carlos officially opened the 25-hectare (62-acre) exhibition on the night of June 13. Organizers hope 6.5 million people will visit before it closes in mid-September, providing a major economic boost to the northern city, Spain's fifth largest.

The Expo features Europe's biggest fresh water aquarium, a 76-meter (250-ft.) water tower and 140 pavilions, themed around different climate zones and representing 105 countries.

Organizers stress the Expo's environmentally friendly credentials. The site is four times smaller than that built for Seville when Spain last hosted an Expo in 1992, and even the tourist shop's carrier bags are made of potato starch.

Two thousand environmental experts will produce a "Zaragoza Charter" outlining recommendations to solve problems such as the lack of clean water for 1.2 billion people and the danger of wars fought over dwindling water resources.

Taipei, Beijing reach historic pactsNegotiators from Taiwan and China reached the landmark agreement on June 12 to launch regular direct charter passenger flights across the Taiwan Strait on weekends starting July 4 and to allow Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan from July 18.

Negotiators from Taiwan and China opened their first formal talks in almost a decade on June 12, aiming to forge an agreement on expanded charter flights as a step toward restoring transport links severed 59 years ago.

The 19-member Taiwanese team is being led by Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the quasi-governmental Straits Exchange Foundation, and includes two vice Cabinet ministers-the highest-ranking Taiwanese officials ever to participate in bilateral talks.

The sides set up the dialogue mechanism in the early 1990s, agreeing to set political differences aside in favor of boosting economic ties and private exchanges. China stepped away from talks in anger over steps by Taiwan to shore up its independent identity. Beijing insists the island is Chinese territory to be reunified by force if necessary.

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