Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Olympic Games 2008

In two years time the 2008 Olympic Games will officially begin in Beijing.

Amid fanfare, fireworks and elaborate ceremonies, China will undoubtedly put on a great show. Show to show the world what wonderful achievements the country has accomplished in the past few decades, away from the shadows of poverty, humiliation and turmoils of the last century.

But how much has Beijing, or China as a whole, really changed?
With the slogan "One World, One Dream" the official organisers are hoping to bring the world in together the Chinese capital. But about the dream? Some cartoonists have illustrated their impressions of this dream.

Beijing Blues

Attempt by China to put on a showcase Olympics in two years. Not without costs.

“The market-communist government also has enough old dictatorial power and new economic clout to make it happen. When the Games start on August 8, more than a million cars will have simply been ordered off the streets. Entire neighbourhoods have already been flattened to make way for the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium, the Water Cube swimming pool, as well as new roads, new subways and the biggest airport terminal in the world. To clear the polluted air, factories have been moved out of the city centre, construction workers will down tools, and nitrogen rockets will be fired into approaching clouds to artificially induce rain.”


“Given China's reputation as the world's biggest censor, few people expect outright abolition of reporting restrictions. After all, no country in the world imprisons more journalists.”


“More likely is a temporary easing for the duration of the Games. If that happens, China will argue that it has met its Olympic commitments and for a few glorious months, the media - probably excluding domestic reporters - will bask in an artificially sunny and open climate. But after that the detentions - like the pollution - will resume as normal in the autumn of 2008. And then the big question will be - beyond the concrete and the steel of the stadiums and roads - what will be the legacy of the Beijing Olympics?”

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