Global Politics

China after the Olympics

For these Olympic volunteers stationed along the main street in downtown Beijing, the Olympics are a dream and a source of great pride for China. they all exude the same basic them: we want to show the world the new China. for Beijing college students, there was immense pressure to become a volunteer for the Games and many signed on. But there were some who were ambivalent�they want to see the Games succeed but they want the Chinese government to learn a lesson. This student says they should learn that openness is a good thing. Beijingers have sacrificed a lot: many lost their homes and some can't work in their factories or drive their cars because of the Games. The editor of the largest news weekly in China thinks the Games are a good thing for the Chinese people because they'll benefit from an improved infrastructure but he worries the lasting legacy will be more nationalism. The Olympics have often been cited as a catalyst for improved democracy in Korea following their 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. This professor says the South Korean government used the Games to bolster their legitimacy and China has done the same, but the similarities end there. He says the Olympics are just one factor that has pushed along democratic reforms. Unlike Korea, China has done little to reform political institutions, as Korea has since their Games.

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