There’s much speculation about China around these Olympics. China is notoriously closed-minded to the outside world in many ways. They have magnificent technology, as we all know…think back to the opening ceremonies on the 8th with that huge LED screen on the ground. And they’re open to tourism…I definitely would LOVE to go to China. But the government is strong against change. Tienanmen Square in 1989 was an example of that. Sure, that was a long time ago and they got dirty looks and “what the heck!?!”‘s from the rest of the world. But they still didn’t open up much.
So with the games going on, many people, including myself, are wondering, “What’s next?” How is this going to change our views on China? How is this going to change the Chinese government’s attitude/behavior to the rest of the non-communist world?
I thought it was interesting how much cheer Cuba got in the opening ceremonies from the Chinese. No country was boo-ed, but it was palpable when a favored country appeared. The US got cheered quite a bit, too, another interesting note. China is doing well, as far as golds go. And I think that’s a good thing in some ways. It may elevate the “outside’s” opinion of the people and country. But I also wonder if the govt. will say, “See? Told ya we were right.”
During the opening ceremonies, there were also quite a few bold statements. A large group of children presented their flag to soldiers, who, in strong military style, stiff-stepped it and hoisted it up the flagpole. A woman, beautifully dressed and dancing, stood on a platform carried by many men. In the very beginning, a couple thousand men in total unison banged on drums. The messages were quite clear in each instance. Paul and I just looked at each other and our jaws dropped!
But, overall, I’m very excited. I hope things open up and attitudes become more positive.