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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Saturday, 14 July, 2001, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Olympic fever tempered by sober thoughts
Chinese TV presenters toast the successful bid with Champagne
Toast of the town on Chinese TV
China's Communist Party paper, the People's Daily, celebrated Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Olympics with an enthusiasm that matched the party mood on the streets.

But it also warned there were many bridges to be crossed.

"The Chinese people's dream of hosting an Olympics has come true! A sleepless night, a sleepless night for 1.3 billion people! Sons and daughters of the Chinese nation fixed their yearning eyes on a moment of historical significance," the paper said.

We still have many gaps to bridge

People's Daily

"We have spared no pains to achieve the success of the bid to host the games. Now we will have to do more solid work to hold the Olympic Games. Comparing our conditions with the requirements of holding an Olympic Games, we still have many gaps to bridge," the People's Daily said.

Blue Skies

It hoped that the games would "greatly inspire the patriotism of the people of various nationalities across the country and promote the rapid development of our country's reform.

"The sky over Beijing in 2008 will be bluer, the city will be more beautiful, and the five-ring banner will be brighter. Full of high spirit and confidence, the Chinese people will spare no effort to add a most splendid chapter to the history of the Olympic Games," the People's Daily added.

Other problems loom. Air pollution is still a headache. Traffic is not smooth.

China Daily

The English-language China Daily - dtarted its editorial with the words "We made it!" - said the announcement had set off "a city-wide explosion of volcanic and festive ceremonies". However amidst the euphoria, it too sounded a note of caution.

Pollution

"Turning the Olympic ideal into reality will present Beijing with huge challenges over the next few years," the paper said. It said only 15 stadiums and gymnasiums already exist while the city's government has vowed to build the other 22 by 2006.

"Other problems loom. Air pollution is still a headache. Traffic is not smooth. The language environment needs improving," China Daily added.
China's Olympic cresr
Symbol of hope

On the morning after the night before, the names of Beijing's papers were printed in red, a colour reserved for good and important news in the Chinese tradition. The outpouring of media joy came in stark contrast to the low-key reporting in the immediate run-up to Friday 13th.

No mention was observed in the Chinese press about the Tibetan protests in Moscow against Beijing's bid.

Taiwan reacts

In Taiwan, there was a mixed reaction to the news. The official CNA news agency reported a "cautious welcome", quoting Taipei Olympic officials as saying the country "shared Beijing's pride and joy".

But they hoped it would "live up to the Olympic spirit by treating every member of the Olympic teams from around the world with goodwill and fairness".

China has been awarded the games though it clearly doesn't deserve them

Taipei Times

Taipei's mayor was upbeat, saying: "Taiwan should support all things which help the mainland expand its contact with and open its door to the outside world".

However, the English-language Taipei Times was far from enthusiastic. "China has been awarded the games though it clearly doesn't deserve them," it said in an editorial.

"Can it turn itself into a more worthy host? If not then the prospect of a boycott has to be considered a serious option."

According to the Hong Kong Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, dissident Wang Hongxue based in mainland China's Anhui Province wrote an open letter calling on Beijing to improve its rights record.

Now that China had attained its goal it should do its utmost to improve human rights

China-based dissident Wang Hongxue

He asked the Chinese authorities to release all political prisoners immediately, especially three founders of the banned China Democratic Party imprisoned in 1999.

"Now that China had attained its goal it should do its utmost to improve human rights," Wang said.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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 ON THIS STORY
Chinese Central TV
Jubilant TV presenters toast the result in Champagne
See also:

13 Jul 01 | Business
Beijing win is big business
13 Jul 01 | Olympic Votes
Beijing handed Olympic Games
14 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Beijing revels in Olympics victory
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