It is no longer ancient China, frozen for three thousand years, that is exhibited in Brussels. It is a renewed, rejuvenated China, ready for a broader and deeper economic and political life.
This new China wanted to give Belgium a token of sympathy. On the initiative of one of the most distinguished Chinese diplomats, Mr. Wang-Mou-Tao, secretary of the Brussels legation, the Peking government, despite the national mourning resulting from the death of the two sovereigns, despite the opening in Nanjing of the first Chinese National Exhibition, to which it had devoted great efforts, decided to participate officially in the Brussels Exhibition. The Minister of China in Brussels, His Excellency Yang-Chu, has, in his speech, excellently expressed China's intentions and feelings towards us, which are so particularly cordial. The good wishes and goodwill of the Belgians are therefore with the Middle Kingdom in its task of transformation.
A vast field is open to the cooperation of the two nations: shipping lines, railways, posts, mining, education, public works... Who knows how far Chinese civilisation will go?
When, at the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo, after having discovered China and lived there for seventeen years, returned to Venice, his fellow citizens did not want to believe the wonders he told about the great Koubilai-khan and the mysterious kingdom of Çathay. On his deathbed, he was still being urged to retract the account of his travels. The day may come when the Marco Polos of the late twentieth century will not be believed either when they tell what they have seen in the China of tomorrow.
© Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1910