CHINA

Olympic mania: post-party blues, already

Material compiled by , our regional editor for China. The Olympic Games will open in Beijing Aug. 8, 2008. For the Chinese authorities and the public, this is more than just a sporting event. In 2001, when the International Olympic Committee selected China to host the games, it was greeted by genuine and overwhelming jubilation across the country. But six years later, there are subdued, but persistent rumblings of discontent. Beijing residents have faced evictions to make way for Olympic construction or by businesses intent on impressing foreigners. The city's Olympic face-lift has left a lot of people homeless. Bloggers are wondering whether the games are good for the people, or for the ‘People's Party,' as the Communist Party is called. Post your questions to contributing bloggers: , and .

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Material compiled by Zhang, our regional editor for China.

The Olympic Games will open in Beijing Aug. 8, 2008. For the Chinese authorities and the public, this is more than just a sporting event. In 2001, when the International Olympic Committee selected China to host the games, it was greeted by genuine and overwhelming jubilation across the country. But six years later, there are subdued, but persistent rumblings of discontent. Beijing residents have faced evictions to make way for Olympic construction or by businesses intent on impressing foreigners. The city's Olympic face-lift has left a lot of people homeless. Bloggers are wondering whether the games are good for the people, or for the ‘People's Party,' as the Communist Party is called.

Post your questions to contributing bloggers: Wang Xiaofeng, Doubleleaf Chen and Zhebao Pavilion.

Bloggers redisgn the Beijing motifs

The original posters and video of the Beijing Olympics.

 

The motifs redesigned by bloggers.

(images: www.crd-net.org/ http://blog.sina.com.cn)

The Olympic Games: it’s like a romantic date gone sour

Wang Xiaofeng is a famous blogger who works for the weekly magazine Sanlian Life.

Beijing is burning under a magnifying glass. The 2008 Olympic Games have put the city in the international media spotlight and it will be embarrassing if our guests arrive to see crumbling facades. The roads, the shopping centres, the corner stores; everything must be renovated.

Even the restaurant menus and the street signs must be made clearer, glossier, more fitting for the sensitivities of the foreigners. For example, we no longer admonish people with ‘do not lie on the grass', or ‘photography not allowed' signs. Instead, we invite them to, ‘please stretch out on the grass' or ‘please take some photos'. What's the limit? Will the ‘secret' city become the ‘open' city? Oh the sacrifices we must make!

(...)

Beijing wants to seem civilised and modern. But can it change its culture in a few months? It's like an untidy young man clearing up his room for a girlfriend's visit. Imagine her surprise when she moves in with him!

The Olympic Games: it's a bit like a romantic date gone sour. "

(posted 8 september 2007)

‘The Olympic Games are never just a sporting event'

Doubleleaf is a young man who lives in the Jiangsu province and works in Beijing. He describes himself as ‘homeless, bankrupt, carless and without girlfriend'.

All the buildings in my area are being renovated for the Olympic Games. However, I live in zone five of Beijing, and there's not much chance that tourists will come here. It's just in case. That said, compared with Emperor Yang of the Sui reign, who insisted that all the trees were wrapped in luxury silks, the renovation doesn't seem so bad.

When I learnt that we were going to be hosting the Olympic Games in six years, I jumped for joy. But today, I'm disillusioned, like the authorities. The Olympics have become very politicised. There are loads of special interest groups waiting for improvements in human rights, democracy, environment etc. If, for example, the government breaks under pressure from occidental countries over Darfour, it's because the Olympics are approaching. The editor of a[Chinese] newspaper even declared today that if the government had known what would happen, it wouldn't have asked to host the event."

 

© http://ko-htike.blogspot.com

The situation is ironic. While the Chinese authorities are trying to use the Olympic Games to show the strength of their nation, they're also moaning about the political questions it brings from outside countries.

The Olympic Games are never just a sporting event. Hitler used the games in 1936 for his nationalist propaganda. In 1988, the games in Seoul sped up the democratisation of South Korea.

It's estimated that more than 30,000 foreign journalists will be In Beijing at the time of the games. If something important happens in another part of the country, in Shangai or Nanjing or Xinjiang, then all those reporters will go to where the event's taking place. For the government, as for the citizens, the games are not just a way of winning gold medals."

(posted 7 october 2007 © pimpmycountry.com)

The Beijing stadium is an architectural mess

This text was posted on the blog of a young engineer, 'Zhebao Pavilion'.

The new Olympic stadium (in the Beijing Olympic Games Park) has a complicated steel structure, but is simply not high enough. On bright days, the structure will shadow the ground and stop the audience from seeing the athletes properly.

 

Moreover,the stadium doesn't have a roof to protect from the rain. And we can't add one, because the metal structure is not strong enough. Basically, the architecture's beautiful but not practical.

The members of the work evaluation group are all famous architects or officials. The first are only interested in the political impact of the event. The second are only after glory. And this type of problem hasn't only affected the stadium. The same thing has happened with all the big, recent projects, like CCTV [a national television chain], the grand opera in Beijing: they're impressive and expensive, but not functional.

And all this is for the vanity of the government."

(posted 27 september 2007)

“Leave the streets to the foreigners”

This photo, taken in Beijing, was posted by Boxun, a human-rights specialised site based in the U.S. A banner hung up in the street displaying the message: ‘Avoid going out too much so that our foreign friends can get around town more quickly'.

 

(posted 7 october 2007 © Boxun News )