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Not Everyone in China Is Cheering

1 minute read
Amanda Bower

Chinese citizens celebrated wildly on Tiananmen Square–even the normally dour police force whooped it up–when Beijing won the 2008 Olympic Games. But it didn’t take long for dissidents, whom China doesn’t tolerate well, to raise objections. “They will tear down our homes, waste our water and charge us high taxes, just so they can host a stupid event to look good for the rest of the world,” wrote a disgruntled resident in an online chat room. Liang Congjie, top environmental adviser to the Beijing Olympic bidders, shares those concerns. “My greatest worry is that the committee will focus on making Beijing into a showcase city with water-wasting stretches of grass,” he says. Other fears are that work on improving wastewater treatment and mass transit will slow as the city shifts its construction funds to building competition venues. Beijing has seven years to prove otherwise.

–Reported by Hannah Beech/Beijing

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