Next week all eyes turn to Beijing, as China hosts it first Olympic games and the world gets to peer into the new republic of capitalism. China has become what few would never have imagined a country where striking it rich, and making a name for yourself is now the way to live.
Undoubtedly the days of Mao, and the communal way of life are relics of the past. If you have any doubts of how economics is influencing new lines of thought, look no further than the new bank notes. Mao Zedong, the founder of communism in China was dropped from the new note, instead it will feature the Olympic stadium on the front and an ancient Greek statue on the back. In Beijing and Shanghai many young Chinese are enjoying the nightlife, and breaking traditional family obligations of arranged marriages.
In many ways, it can be argued China is changing more rapidly by the minute than any country ever has. The interesting question behind it all is, will China respect the wishes of the people. The Chinese labour market is plagued with problems of overworking factory workers with no benefits, and subjecting workers to unsafe conditions. It would be unrealistic to expect China to become a democracy overnight, but its reasonable to see China back off its hard line stances and start giving its workers and dissents some civil rights. That is of course, if the Chinese government knows whats good for them.