Well with a little less than six weeks from the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Beijing. The Chinese government and in particular that of its Ministry of Environment has has seen fit to mandate that all manufucturing plants within three hundred miles of the city will be shut down if not during the entirety of the games. They’ll be indeed shutdown for most part while events are taking place in outdoor venues.
A construction site for a newly built steel mill for the Shougang Capital Iron & Steel Plant in Caefodian, Hebei Province, China. The plant sits some 220km southeast of Beijing and has been noted to be one of the worst polluters within the province. picture courtesy of Getty Images/Andrew Wong ……………
Such is the insistance of the government that this has been mandated and will be strictly adhered to by all of the companies within the areas dictated. Much has been made of the fact that the Chinese capital of Beijing home to a population of some eighteen million inhabitants and pollution therein created large scale by the traffic as well manufacturing and chemical industries that dot the surrounding provinces. The cautionary tale that is being taken is that many athletes that will be competing in many of the events to be held outdoors will be subjecting themselves to an anomaly of health risks and dangers .
The Shougang Capital Iron & Steel Plant up and running with the plumes of smoke arsing into the skies above. picture courtesy of Getty Images/ Andrew Wong ………..
The fact that for a little over 17 days the eyes and the ears will be on the world’s most populace country will not be lost on the Chinese government or its people. Pride if nothing else will be uppermost in their minds as they set about proving to the outside world that they can handle such an event. And though there have been concerns raised as to the political climate in and outside the country as to China’s influence in the affairs of Sudan and the province of Tibet . It can be said that we were all aware as to what might unfold once China had the winning bid for the ’08 Olympics in Beijing . It wasn’t if we’d not been forewarned.
The Shougang Capital Iron & Steel plant one of the largest steel manufacturers in Hebei Province in China. As you can see the skies though on appearance clear. It goes without saying that this isn’t a common occurence as to what can be expected from the mill when it is in full production. picture courtesy of Getty Images/Andrew Wong…
The country’s ever growing political influence, economic might and burgeoning presence on the world stage was to be expected. In less than a decade this country has become the world’s manufacturing plant for an abundance of goods ranging from high end electronics, aviation parts, petro-chemical processing , micro chip processors to other vast arrays of goods that the Western hemisphere just can’t seem to get enough of. Many of these products are being produced at the behest of large western corporations who’ve deemed it fit to move their domestic manufacturing from their own home countries to China in order to make use of the abundance of cheap labor and the untethered attention that tends to be in place . And how the Chinese government’s lax approach in how it doesn’t strictly adhere to environmental issues. Countries in the West may cast blame upon China but that wouldn’t be the case had it not engratiated the country with the will and the way to adopt what they themselves had done for so many years.
Fireworks explode under the dark skies of Beijing at the Olympic Stadium at the rehearsal for the opening ceremonies for the upcoming Olympic games. The stadium nicknamed ‘The Bird’s Nest was one of the largest construction projects ever to take place in mainland China. picture courtesy China Photo News Agency/ Getty Images ………..
The Olympics itself will be the chance that China seeks to impress upon the world that it is now indeed ready to join the outside world. For so long it has kept itself very much insulated from of the world’s citizenry in one form or another. But with its ever growing economic clout and political sphere of influence. It may now view itself as to the equal of the United States. As the US’s largest creditor it most certainly now must feel that way. And if nothing the United States knows that it needs China as much as China may well feel that it needs the US as an economic trading partner.
One of the many splendors of the city of Beijing is that of The Forbidden City . Which’ll no doubt become a tourist attraction for the hundreds of thousands who’ll no doubt be visiting the country for the games. picture courtesy of Getty Images/Andrew Wong ……….
The concerns that’ve been brought to the attention of the government have not gone unnoticed. And the mandated instructions that are being past down will affect every aspect of manufacturing production within the surrounding provinces of Hebei , Shangdong, Henan and Tianjin. Biejing municipality the country’s second largest city of after Shanghai will become the centerpiece of the spectacle that at least will attract the attention of at least half the world’s population in terms of televsion or radio. And NBC here in the US as sole broadcaster domestically of the event will go about giving the public in excess of 1200 hours of broadcasts incorporating almost every aspect of the games. Though it can be said that not all of it will be palatable for consummaation for even the most discernable of the viewing public here in the United States. Out interests may only lie with the homegrown athletes that we know and who’ll be competing for the US.
Yao Ming competing for a China in pre Olympic warm up tournament game against Serbia in a venue in Hangzhou, Zheijang province China. The game was in part for the Stankovic Continental Champions Cup tournament. picture courtesy of China News Agency/ Getty Images………….
And as much as we’ll view the upcoming games with a certain amount of bewilderment and perhaps joy . The fact of the matter is it won’t be lost on many who’ll no doubt feel that the games ought to have been held elsewhere. Health concerns asides for the athletes these games won’t just be about the undue political unrest. But there’s a feeling now that the games themselves ought to have a permanent resting place rather than it becoming a showcase for political expediency and propaganda. For all of its commercial worth and the vasts amounts spent to build the venues and Olympic village that’ll be home to the athletes and officials alike. Once every four years might be enough for an event of this magnitude but once over there’s very little left other than the vast edifices built and the memories of the events that took place. A permanent site if nothing else would warrant the reminder and ideals that the games were built around. Rather than it being showcased as a gathering that for all sense and purpose has become nothing more than social event for athletic endeavors. At the same time the problems of the word still manifest themselves in the usual ways. Conflict, hunger, terrorism , genocide and other wantoned acts too numerous to mention.