Despite the negative news about the government’s failure to permit protests and a crackdown on dissenting voices ahead of the Olympics, the AP reports on the ways that the Olympics may bring positive change to China’s civil society:
Public involvement on a variety of issues is on the rise here, with the government in a few cases viewing activist groups as partners rather than groups that need to be controlled.
But critics say the government’s desire for control means there are limits to how much it will work with activists.
[…] By many measures, the Olympics have not brought about hoped-for changes in China, from its policies on human rights and Tibet to its support for outcast governments such as those in Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Myanmar.
Wang, whose native Shanxi province is dotted with small coal mines, knows it will take more than marches to clean the environment. But she credits the Olympics with an important first step: raising awareness.