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Staging the 2008 Olympics is heady stuff for the modern descendants of the Middle Kingdom. Though its emperor once possessed a divine mandate to rule "All Under Heaven," China's international role has been far more circumscribed during the last century and a half. Now the Chinese believe their luck has changed. Playing host to the largest of all modern peacetime extravaganzas perfectly suits the current Chinese political imagination, succinctly if not subtly expressed in the Beijing Olympic Slogan, "One World, One Dream." Through the magic of media, the 2008 Games will certainly reach all under heaven, a scale the Chinese have embraced by sending an Olympic flag to orbit the earth for five days in 2005 aboard China's second manned space mission, Shengzhou VI (Zhao 2005).
Date Posted: 19 August 2008