Countdown to Beijing, The Choice for China: Propaganda or Positive Change? – Victor D. Cha
From The Washington Post:
… Just as the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 closed the book on wartime Japan, the Beijing Games will end China’s past century as the “sick man” of Asia and open a new chapter as a modern, advanced nation. The symbolism of China’s first astronaut in space carrying the Beijing Olympic banner could not have been a stronger statement of the nation’s aspirations.
The Olympics, however, are generating pressures on the regime to change its behavior, not just its image. Beijing must find a way to join its controlled and closed political system with the classical liberal ideals of individualism, open competition and respect for human dignity embodied in the Olympics. It will also have to deal with intense international scrutiny of its behavior by journalists, nongovernmental organizations and socially responsible corporate actors. [Full Text]
Victor D. Cha, a professor at Georgetown University, was a White House Asia adviser from 2004 to 2007.