Shanghai Expo took place at a junction of great uncertainty and paradox in world history. Held in a country that is universally touted as the new superpower of the twenty-first century, Shanghai Expo is a bold statement of China’s ascendancy on the world stage. From a Chinese perspective, this universal exposition – the first in a developing country and the largest, most expensive and most visited ever – marks a new cultural confidence and hope for the future, in sync with China’s rise. From a Western point of view, however, the rise of China raises anxieties about the West’s own relative decline and loss of might. Behind the frenetic scramble for economic opportunity provided by a booming China – most national governments invested heavily in their pavilions in Shanghai, not primarily to impress the ordinary Chinese visitor, but to boost business, trade and diplomatic links with China – one can read a lingering fear of being overtaken or left behind in contemporary Western engagements with China (see Jacques 2009; Kaplan 2010).