August 09, 2007

Olympics over Party

I am a fond lover of the Chinese central news. During my current visit to Beijing I noticed something rather interesting. For the first time in decades the word party is giving way in popularity to another word, “Olympics”. To say that the upcoming Olympics are doing wonders in Beijing is to say nothing. I don’t think there’s ever been such precedent in history that measures in its scale to the efforts the Chinese are putting into this Game. The marketing of the event is much like the marketing of The Simpsons movie, except this one has been going on since Beijing was voted to host the 2008 Olympics.

Starting tomorrow, the Beijing transport authorities will be introducing a testing regime that involves rescheduling the office hours of large companies and offices to try and regulate morning traffic and shortage of public transport. The reported ‘clear sky days’ are nearing 260 days per year (out of the 365)! And this is at a time when major news channels are pessimistically announcing that 7 out of 10 heavily polluted cities in the world are in China. My point is, the Olympics is everywhere now and China, Beijing is transforming before the eyes.


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