Changing China

Giant on the move

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China’s 60th anniversary : Live

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4:30 pm : China celebrated its wealth and rising might with a show of goose-stepping troops, floats and nuclear-capable missiles, 60 years after Mao Zedong proclaimed its embrace of communism.

The two hour-parade of picture-perfect soldiers, tanks and missiles, floats and 100,000 well-drilled civilians was a proud moment for many Chinese citizens, as reporters Ben Blanchard and Lucy Hornby write.

The weather was perfect too, with the Chinese air force deploying a "magic-like" range of chemicals and technology to clear Beijing's smoggy air.

Here's another image from the grand parade:


2:40 pm
: Here’s a video of the parade shot by photographer David Grey.

2:00 pm : On a street corner at the end of China’s 60th anniversary parade route a crowd of ordinary but excited Beijingers gathered to wave flags and snap pictures of the floats as they trundled off to a temporary parking lot, reporter Emma Graham-Harrison writes

from Left field:

World Games bring spotlight to southern Taiwan

2008 was undoubtedly China's year in the limelight, thanks to the Beijing Olympics. But this year, China's longtime political and diplomatic rival Taiwan gets the World Games

And it's not Taiwan's frenetic, fashionable capital Taipei which will be hosting the event. Instead, the island's second largest city and one of the world's busiest ports, Kaohsiung, will be home to the 16-26 July extravaganza.

Snapshot Beijing, 4: The greatest dive in Olympic history

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Mitcham dives

The Water Cube was almost silent as a slight blonde man who two years earlier was not even diving leapt off the ten metre platform, twisted and somersaulted through the air and slid into the water with just the slightest of splashes.

Matthew Mitcham resurfaced to an explosion of applause and as the judges’ scores came up his smile of delight dissolved into tears of disbelief.

It ain’t Confucius’s China any more…

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He knew it the second he landed.

Gymnast Yang Wei knew that mathematically, emotionally, historically and rightfully the men’s all-around Olympic title was his – and the overwhelmingly partisan home-town crowd knew it too.

There was no need for Yang or for his supporters to wait the seemingly interminable minutes for the judges to review his performance on the horizontal bar – as the final participant in the sixth and final rotation of the championship, his lead was so strong that it would have taken a disaster to knock him out of first.

You see what you want to see…

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Facts may be facts.

But putting meaning to those facts can be very tricky.

The fact is, China’s People’s Armed Police parked an armoured personnel carrier outside the main press centre of the Beijing Olympics on Tuesday.

The fact is, photographers and videocameramen swarmed the vehicle taking images that will travel the world. These pictures were all taken by Reuters Reinhard Krause.

Beautiful, baffling and bewildering

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rtr20x4z_comp1.jpgSo maybe my next job isn’t fencing correspondent

I’ll admit that I’m not a professional sports journalist, but I like to think of myself as a decent amateur watcher of sport.

As an American living in London, I’ve even fallen deeply in love with cricket. Fencing, however, foxes me completely.

As if the opening ceremony wasn’t impressive enough…

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rtr20rkd1.jpgThe opening ceremony for the Beijiing Olympics on Friday was a dramatic assertion of China’s power and nationalism.

But as if having the Olympic cauldron lit by a “flying” gymnast Li Ning, suspended by wires high above the heads of 91,000 spectators, wasn’t proof enough that even gravity could be conquered by the world’s most populous nation, the government defied the elements as well.

Smogwatch

With only five days to go before the opening of the Olympic Games, the iconic Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing was visible under clear blue skies on Sunday (August 3).

Despite last-ditch attempts to turn the smokey and dusty Chinese capital into the promised pollution-free Olympic venue, the Olympic Green is frequently barely visible through the haze.

Smogwatch

With only six days to go before the opening of the Olympic Games, the iconic Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing was visible under clear blue skies on saturday (August 2).  Despite last-ditch attempts to turn the smokey and dusty Chinese capital into the promised pollution-free Olympic venue, the Olympic Green is frequently barely visible through the haze.
    The Beijing Ministry for Environmental Protection was still showing the Chinese Air Pollution Index (API) from Friday (August 02), which was API 27. This figure is valid from 1200 the day before until 1200 local (0300 GMT) the present day. This is grade one, “excellent”, and counts as a “blue sky day”. The temperature was forecast to be around 30 degrees celsius with only 51 percent humidity
    The authorities have ordered many cars off roads and halted much construction and factory production in an effort to cut smog before the Games open on August 8.  Pollution has been one of the biggest worries for Games organisers who have said they may reschedule endurance events to prevent health risks to athletes.
See the latest smogwatch video from around the Olympic Green here

Smogwatch

With only 9 days to go before the opening of the Olympic Games, the iconic Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing was visible again for the second day running on Wednesday (July 30). The stadium had been shrouded in smog for days previously, despite last-ditch attempts to turn the smokey and dusty Chinese capital into the promised pollution-free Olympic venue. The temperature on Wednesday was forecast to be around 33 degrees Celsius with 78 percent humidity. The Beijing Ministry for Environmental Protection was showing the Chinese Air Pollution Index (API) on Wednesday as API 90. This figure is valid from 1200 the day before until 1200 local (0300 GMT) the present day. This is grade 2 and counts as a “blue sky day”. Beijing could restrict more cars and shut more factories if air pollution persists during the Olympic Games. The authorities have ordered many cars off roads and halted much construction and factory production in an effort to cut smog before the Games open on August 8. But the city has still endured hazy skies over the past week, and again on Monday (July 28), raising fears that the sultry heat Beijing often experiences in August could make for a cocktail of haze, fumes and dust for tens of thousands of athletes and visitors. see the latest smogwatch video from around the Olympic green here

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