Giant on the move
So far, though, there has been no word on the rules and regulations that will prevent the world’s most enthusiastic smokers from puffing away while watching the Games this August.
There was brief flurry of excitement around the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day last May when some officials said the policy would be announced, but it never materialised. The rules, to be decided by the Beijing municipal government, are promsied soon.
Some 320 million Chinese (and a few expat Westerners) draw on nearly 2 trillion cigarettes every year.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s plan to send a red double decker bus from the host city of the 2012 Olympics toBeijing for this Summer’s Games has already come under fire for”wasting” a million dollars of taxpayers’ money.
Ok, Ken is in the middle of a mayoral election campaign so his every decision was always going to come under scrutiny from his rival and the British media.
Double Olympic champion diver Guo Jingjing was blasted by the Chinese media for snubbing the press last weekend.
Certainly, she was not on top form.
This was the full transcript of her encounter with the written media immediately after winning the gold medal in the synchronised 3 metre springboard , recorded and translated by my colleague Liu Zhen.
Given that Liu Qi is also the head of the Beijing Communist Party and a member of China’s Politburo, there was no doubt that this pithy phrase would not be forgotten in the training of the 100,000 volunteers for the Olympics and Paralympics.
The Year of the Rat replaced that of the Pig at midnight on Wednesday and once again Beijing resembled a war zone with fireworks exploding all over the city in quantities those who have never been in China at this time can only imagine.
This sign in the media work room at the “Water Cube” caught my eye when I was there the other evening for the Olympic swimming test event.
Women journalists, it seems, can order their own ”Meal for ladies”, although they have to pay the same 15 yuan as those ordering the “general” or “Muslim” meal.
The Water Cube, or National Aquatics Centre as it is known officially, was “unveiled” on Monday and will host its first test event with a swimming event starting on Thursday.
Even if it’s not actually a cube but a rectangle, it’s certainly an innovative design.
It will come as a surprise to no one who has travelled the streets of Beijing for any length of time that the most powerful cars in the 3,000-strong Olympic fleet for the Summer Games will be 692 Audi A6s.
If there is no specific Olympic livery, it would be a fair guess to think they will be black, too.
This story in China’s official English-language newspaper on Monday got me thinking about the number of speeches I have sat through over the last two years and how the local style of press conference is going to go down when 30,000 foreign media descend on Beijing in August.
It all sounds so cosy on the invitation. “Getting to Know – Mr Liu Jian”, “an unscripted, casual, face-to-face dialogue with a BOCOG department director. Biscuits, coffee and tea will be served.”