Changing China

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Is China ready for the Olympics?


Construction workers walk past the National Stadium or Bird’s Nest in BeijingHardly anyone questions whether Beijing will be ready to host the Olympics Games in August. China is determined to put on a good show, the thinking goes, so that is what the world will get. 

No expense has been spared cleaning up the sky, removing traffic jams, building state-of-the-art stadia and teaching every Beijing taxi driver to speak some English.

Which is why the audience at a recent Olympics conference hosted by Hong Kong University was caught off guard by Yu Bu, deputy chief of the Beijing organising committee’s broadcasting coordination division.

“I don’t think China is ready for Beijing 2008 yet,” he said. “There is still so much work to be done.”