4 Months to Go: Is China Ready for Spotlight?

Country is proud to host Games but worries abound
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2008 4:11 PM CDT
Police tackle protesters during the Beijing Olympics torch relay, background left, in London Sunday April 6, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The last-minute drama brewing in the runup to this summer's Olympic Games is of a more global and more personal nature than the infrastructure issues of Olympics past—and Chinese leaders are bristling under the scrutiny, the Chicago Tribune reports. But pride in the country's hosting gig remains strong, even among the impoverished workers who could never afford a ticket.

"It's an honor of China," says a bricklayer who will lose his job during the air pollution-related construction ban this summer. But another local is concerned that the Games will only worsen economic disparity, saying that "All it does is drive up prices." As a jailed protester says, the Beijing Games "will also be a stage for other things" besides sports.