Toronto's loss to odds-on favourite Beijing for the 2008 Olympics
was to be expected. But the effect the Games will
have on China and Canada's possible bid for 2012 is
A Beijing Olympics won't bring multiparty democracy to China, free
all political prisoners or give autonomy to Tibet. But it
could help moderate China's behaviour.
The 2008 Olympics, China's imminent entry to the World Trade
Organization and its growing international status all bring responsibilities the
rest of the world now expects Beijing to fulfil. Together,
they increase pressure on the world's most populous nation to
play by the rules.
"All these strings -- while one by one relatively weak
themselves -- have a cumulative effect of limiting the freedom
of motion of this huge Gulliver," said David Lampton, a
China expert at Johns Hopkins University.
For China's Communist party, winning the games is a boost
that could extend its life. Communism is a dead ideology
in today's market-reform China. Instead, Chinese expect the government to
raise living standards and their nation's standing. With the Olympics,
Communists can argue they're delivering.
An eruption of fireworks, blasts from car horns and an
Olympic-sized traffic jam celebrated the decision by the International Olympic
Not since the 1989 democracy protests that ended in violence
had so many people converged on downtown Beijing, although many
were prevented from entering the square by columns of armed
police lined four deep. Source.