The first thing I forgot to mention was the fact Taiwan, is known as Chinese Taipei during the opening ceremony. They were not allowed to parade with their actual national flag, but they used a Chinese Taipei team flag. This apparently falls under the One China policy, were they do not recognize Taiwan as a entity by itself.
Lastly, the Chinese used rain dispersal rockets as my friend Jenny brought to my attention. Basically they load these rockets with special chemicals to induce raining before the clouds can reach downtown Beijing. The Chinese have also been experimenting with “cloud seeding”, which entails creating clouds and consequentially rain to clear the skies of smog. Beijing plans to keep many factories closed and take over half of the city’s cars off the road to reduce pollution.
Last night, all eyes were on Beijing for the opening ceremony of the twenty-ninth Olympiad. The Chinese showed the world, that they know how to put on a show. Zhang Yimou a Chinese Oscar nominated film director, was put in charge of the massive production. The imagery was quite powerful, pointing out many important moments in Chinese history such as Confucianism, and the invention of writing.
The use of technology was very noticeable in the ceremony, with massive flexible LCD screens used to create amazing mosaics of moving images. By using the LCD allowed Yimou to change the scenery to fit each skit. It was almost cinematic in some regards.
Initially this paper was a blank sheet, according to the announcers this was done symbolically to tell the world to not make assumptions about China yet.
Overall, I enjoyed the ceremony very much including the breath taking lighting of the torch moment. Essentially the final torch bearer runs around the top edge of the stadium held by guide wires to light the torch. The Chinese did a very good job of showcasing themselves to the world. No doubt as you may have read in my previous blog posts, China is a country on the rise. Of course China has many problems that impedes the country from being the ideal place to live. Yet, you can’t help but think what remains in the future for a country that has over one billion people, and is changing at an improbable speed. No one would have ever imagined China would be hosting the Olympics twenty years ago, China then was a hard-line communist nation living in the past. Now Beijing and Shanghai are modern concrete jungle meccas, with new skyscrapers going up daily. If Chinese would take more responsibility on human rights, and provide the people with the freedoms they deserve, China could be one of the world’s shining jewels.
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.
If you’ve talked to resident expert in Pandas and Computer Engineering Student V.Liang you’d already know Pandas are reproducing thanks to fresh Bamboo and open spaces. The good news from China is that most of the missing Pandas have been located and transferred to a Zoo in Beijing. As we get closer towards the Beijing Olympics I’ll comment on China about once a week.
Guangyuan County in China has had an estimated 60,000 people killed by the earthquake. Thing have only gotten worst an aftershock today has leveled thousands of homes. China has decide to not rebuild the cities have been destoryed. Most people will be compensated and moved to new areas. I think the Chinese government has acted differently than in the past, the government is trying to show more compassion. I guess my point in menitioning this is I would hope people would remember to apperciate the things their given. Volunteer when you can.