One Year to Go...
There's only one year left until the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, PRChina. There was an excellent article on yahoo.ca entitled "Beijing's yearlong party begins as Olympic countdown clocks reach 1-year mark " which is worth the 2 minutes to read. It's fairly well-rounded, especially after all the Chinese propaganda I read while living in China about the 2008 Games.
The article highlights the Chinese excitement for the games, noting a speech by Wu Bangguo "laden with communist jargon such as 'Deng Xiaoping theory' and the building of a 'harmonious society'."
It also mentioned a few of the difficulties China will have. Some of these difficulties were noted by Jacques Rogge, head of the International Olympic Committee, who "said the dirty air in Beijing might force some events to be postponed". That can't be good.
A beautiful, sunny summer day at Houhai in Beijing!
But the Communist party is making things better by moving polluting factories away from Beijing and closing some down for up to 3 months before the Games. They will also force up to 1/3 of Beijing cars off the roads during the Olympics, as they did during the African Leader's Summit in the Autumn of 2006. They're also hoping to help the pollution situation by "control[ing] the weather. Meteorologists began tests last month, firing rockets to disperse rain clouds - a move to guarantee sunshine. They've also fired rockets containing sticks of silver iodide to induce rain to clean the air." [More about Chinese controling the weather!]
Other difficulties faced are "old habits, such as spitting in public, jumping ahead in line and littering", all of which are being addressed by special committees to improve Chinese behaviour. I can attest to the bad behaviour -I don't know how many times I was spit on, shoved out of the way, or had someone literally point right in my face and shout "LAOWAI!" But on the positive side, Rogge says "preparations for Beijing 2008 are truly impressive in every regard."