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The Beijing Olympics were an exercise in Chinese soft power. Americans have the 'Voice of America' and the Fulbright scholarships. But, the fact is, in fact, that probably Hollywood and MTV and McDonalds have done more for American soft power around the world than any specifically government activity.
I was at a meeting two years ago in Beijing, and I passed a bunch of women who were marching in a protest. Their signs were probably saying something I wouldn't have agreed with at all. But I was so glad to see women marching. And it's happening all over the world.
The Chinese have figured out that they have a giant environmental problem. Folks in Beijing, some days, literally can't breathe. Over a million Chinese die prematurely every year because of air pollution.
China should be another United States from an economic standpoint. Beijing should be another Silicon Valley.
Every case involving cybercrime that I've been involved in, I've never found a master criminal sitting somewhere in Russia or Hong Kong or Beijing. It always ends up that somebody at the company did something they weren't supposed to do. They read an email, went to a website they weren't supposed to.
While Google no longer has a search engine operation inside China, it has maintained a large presence in Beijing and Shanghai focused on research and development, advertising sales, and mobile platform development.
No matter where I go - London, Beirut, Jerusalem, Washington, Beijing, or Bangalore - I'm always looking to rediscover that land of ten thousand lakes where politics actually worked to make people's lives better, not pull them apart.
Geopolitical drama lessened but did not die after the Cold War; in 2008, the specter of thousands of seeming automatons banging drums at the opening of the Beijing Games frightened and enthralled the world, reminding us that China was a nation on the rise, a competitor for global dominance.
In the States, you can buy Chinese food. In Beijing you can buy hamburger. It's very close. Now I feel the world become a big family, like a really big family. You have many neighbors. Not like before, two countries are far away.
Already 2008 has proved a tumultuous year in terms of global perceptions of China, and there are still 59 days to go until the Beijing Olympics. The tragedy of the Sichuan earthquake followed hard on the heels of the riots in Tibet and the demonstrations surrounding the Olympic torch relay.
My approach to gymnastics in Beijing was heavily based on the amount of difficulty I could do.
Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.
Imagine a State occasion where the Queen is wearing trainers with her tiara because she thinks it will make people like her better, more folksy. It's unthinkable. But that's patently the thought process Gordon Brown (or his spin doctor) went through before the Prime Minister appeared on the world stage in Beijing without his suit and tie.
The Beijing Olympics represent China's grand entrance onto the world stage and confirmation of its new superpower status.
Beijing's Olympics were very grand - they were trying to throw a party for the world, but the hosts didn't enjoy it. The government didn't care about people's feelings because it was trying to create an image.
I see the Beijing National Stadium as an architectural project. I accepted Herzog and De Meuron's invitation to collaborate on the design, and our proposal won the competition. From beginning to end, I stayed with the project. I am committed to fostering relationships between a city and its architecture.
The Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo show just how much effort China is willing to spend to enter the global stage. But while China desires to understand the world, it fails to accept its universal values.
I was still young when I missed Beijing. I was favourite to win a medal but I knew I had time. My coach advised me to stay at school and finish my exams. Even if I had gone and won the Olympics, I might not have handled the pressure. So I moved on.
Team GB's success at the Beijing Olympics can, in part, be said to have been made in Manchester. For example, all the cycling medal winners trained at Manchester's velodrome, the National Cycling Centre.
I went to China for a brief working visit, and I thought that Shanghai was interesting, but Beijing totally grabbed me.
It's kind of nice in some ways having an Olympic Trials where I finished second. You can kind of go in more under the radar facing a 2:03 guy and facing a lot of dudes who are faster than I am, whereas, before Beijing, I had one of the top 10 times in the field, or something like that.
It took years, honestly, to deal with the disappointment of Beijing.
In February of this year I returned to China to research my next book. The authorities know about the novels of mine that have been published in the west, including the latest one, Beijing Coma, about a student shot in Tiananmen Square, but so far have allowed me to return.
Squash has the credentials to become an olympic event and our goal is to see the sport in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We are working towards this and will keep trying even if our bid is not successful.
Edward Snowden may not be a Chinese mole, but he might as well be. He's just handed Beijing a major score, while the NSA struggles to pick up the pieces - and the rest of us pay the price in terms of future national security.
Arthur L. Herman
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
C. S. Lewis
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