China im Olympia-Fieber

Die Washington Post schreibt über die Vorfreude der Chinesen auf die Olympiade im Sommer:
Chen Guangbing's horizon is largely confined to Zhong Jie, a crowded pedestrian street cutting through central Shenyang where he hawks peanuts, pistachios and cashews from a rickety wooden table. But Chen, 28, feels something big and life-expanding is about to happen here, broadening the world of his little nut stand, running the length of Zhong Jie, embracing Shenyang and illuminating the whole of China. The Olympics are coming to Beijing in August, he knows, and for Chen and more than a billion other Chinese, the Games are a milestone in this country's often dolorous history. Up and down China's political, social and economic hierarchy, from new millionaires to dirt farmers, party cadres to protesters, the country has embraced its role as Olympics host with an ardor and unanimity rarely matched in previous Games. The enthusiasm does not stem from the love of sports, though. Rather, the Olympics are being interpreted here as a testament to how far the country has come over three decades of economic reforms and modernization. Beijing's selection as the 2008 Olympic venue is widely seen here as a blessing by other countries of the Communist Party's achievements during that time and a show of faith in its promises to push forward with more changes, including political liberalization. Perhaps most of all, the Beijing Games provide Chinese with validation of the national pride that is swelling here after a long stretch during which most Chinese felt left behind and cut off from their rightful place in the world.



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