The 2008 Beijing Olympics: China Pushes Towards Modernization

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The 2008 Beijing Olympics: China Pushes Towards Modernization

The Olympics are always used as a way for the host city to put on a display of its culture and show the world its myriad social and economical triumphs. The host country can, in just a couple weeks, show the world what a wonderful place it is. The Olympics have in the past been able to prompt a world awareness of the host country and create a lingering legacy. Beijing will attempt to do all these things, but the stakes will be much higher. China is the most populous country in the world and at the center of many global issues. With its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China made a big step in accepting the challenge from other world powers to open up its markets, address human rights, and transform itself from a developing country to a modern world power. With its official Olympic Action Plan, Beijing has made it its mission to directly address these issues with its emphasis on the concepts of “Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics, and People’s Olympics.” Indeed, Beijing is maneuvering itself into position to use its fifteen minutes at the center of the world stage to put on quite a show. At the same time, Beijing can use the opportunity of putting on the Games to better its economic position in the world. China’s economic growth has been strong due to foreign investment in Chinese manufacturing. The trend will continue. Foreign investment for the Games will stimulate growth while Chinese manufacturers will be able to exploit the new export market for Olympic goods. At the same time, China hopes to boost its position in making its own high tech developments to go along with its already strong manufacturing sector. While change in C...

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