Most countries struggle to complete large construction projects in the allocated time frame or within budget - witness the new Wembley stadium (left).
Right up to the start of the Athens Olympics in 2004 (far left), people were questioning the Greeks' readiness.
But there have been no such doubts expressed about China's preparations, and that is because they have been meticulously planned.
When foreign visitors arrive in Beijing this summer, they will find a modern, well-functioning metropolis.
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