The Chinese wanted to learn from the world. They exerted themselves to shake off the mentality of a timeless continuity formed by thousands of years and to learn from the West. So, as an exhibitor, China has opened itself to the world by developing countless ties through the World Exposition.
The first Chinese visitors to World Expositions attended independently. Wang Tao went to the 1867 Paris World Expo and toured London's Crystal Palace. At the time, the Chinese had dismissed the World Exposition as a "Wicked Craft Show-off Gathering," derived from their understanding of technology being diabolical tricks and wicked crafts, demonstrating a failure to think deeply about how technology improved the world, influencing and developing a new sense of civic values.
The first participation of China in World Expo was at the 1873 Vienna World Exposition. However, China’s participation was peculiar -- the nation was represented by a British man named E.C.Bowra, sent by the British Head of China’s General Taxation Administration, a man called Herde. After 1840, all the Customs and foreign trade affairs of China were entrusted to foreigners. The representative was sent to expand China's business contacts with foreign countries and thereby gain greater profits.