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Vitamin C and Residents' Rights Are Big Losers in Olympics

Vitamin C and Residents' Rights Are Big Losers in Olympics

The Olympics (starting on Friday!) has caused all kinds of disruptions in China as they scurry to clean up their air — and their sartorial statements. The factories that produce 80 percent of the world's ascorbic acid, aka Vitamin C, crucial to cold curing and a huge part of modern food production, have been closed down. The reach of the Games preparation seems to have no bounds.

And it's not just fashion statements getting makeovers — Beijing residents are beginning to grumble about the disruptions the Games have brought to their lives. To see how,


One 24-year-old blogger tells of having to sign a "civilized behavior pledge," having to hurry to get to his favorite breakfast stall before 8 a.m. because it's "unsightly" and has to close early. One ice cream vendor says, "at least half the people I know can't wait for the games to be over. It's a glorious event for the country, but ordinary people are the unlucky ones," he said.

Some of the unluckier ones, like Ye Gouzhu, have far more serious complaints than a breakfast stall. He had his home and restaurant ripped down to make way for Olympics venues, and was then jailed for four years for trying to organize a protest about it.

Though I will certainly be watching the opening ceremonies (along with George W. Bush, though thousands of miles apart) do these details affect your enjoyment of the Games?


Join The Conversation
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I wonder where the next Olympics will be. They'll have to play it safe after this year's pr disaster.
globbot globbot 9 years
well, at least this is testament to the progressive change of Chinese people's views toward the Party. The amount of protests have spiked in the last eight years, and now that the amount of internet users widen, it's becoming harder and harder for the CCP to throw out propaganda without it falling on skeptical ears. The Chinese people are becoming more and more socially conscious, not just politically, but also on policies involving the environment and also the cultural trend toward total capitalism (which can cause major problems in China, where there is a large population of naive/poor people to take advantage of). There is a taunt line of tension below the "placid" cover of devoted nationalism that the CCP tries to throw over it, and it's starting to manifest itself. China is such an interesting place to watch. Considering I've worked half the year in China for the past ten years (not in business), it's hard for me to not be a bit excited, although it's conflicted excitement, about the olympics. I think, or actually, I know that I'll be catching it on TV. And Zhang Yimou is directing the ceremony, it's going (or hopefully going) to be a visual beauty.
CYL CYL 9 years
oh glad I don't live in your dictator like embrace anymore!
em113 em113 9 years
The more I read the more absurd it seems that China ever could've been awarded the hosting position. Worst idea ever.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
This doesn't surprise me at all, given where the olympics are being hosted this go around. Hats off to the IOC, or whichever board decided which country gets to host this event.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
I've never watch the opening ceremonies b/c they are ridiculously boring, so of course I won't be watching this year either. I think it's obvious now that China is not ready for the olympics. I thought it would be a good idea 8 years ago, but it has not brought any desirable change. btw, is that picture supposed to be some disgruntled Beijing residents? ;)
kia kia 9 years
I will not be watching the opening ceremonies. China should never have been awarded the Olympics for a variety of reasons including they do not have the quality of venues ready for events. Clean air (most athletes) and clean water (rowers, triathlon, etc.) are kind of big deals at this stage of competition. The treatment of the citizens is pretty wrong as well. I know i L.A. we weren't treated like second-class citizens in '84.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Are the Olympics always so scandalous? It seems much more so this year.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
This is disgusting. I wish we were NOT having the Olympics there. I can't believe they are treating their people like this....well actually I can...but that's another story.
gigill gigill 9 years
The Olympics are so politicized now, and it makes me sad to hear that it's the ordinary citizens who are suffering as a result. The games are supposed to be a great big celebration of unity, not destruction and annoyance!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
This bending over backwards for visitors at the expense of their own people disgusts me.
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
Uh, yeah. Why destroy someone's life for a stupid athletic event which calls for some of the most biased practices despite the fact that the olympics is held to create unity?
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