[EDITORIALS]Beijing Olympics Affects All of Us

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[EDITORIALS]Beijing Olympics Affects All of Us

The dream of China and its 1.3 billion people has finally come true. China will be the third Asian host for the Olympic Games, after Korea and Japan, because the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2008 Summer Games to its capital, Beijing. The 2008 Beijing Olympics has a special significance to China, which dreams of emerging as the superpower of the 21st century. The Games are likely to give great influence not only on the country's domestic issues but also on its international relations. It is China's duty to maximize the positive effect of the Beijing Olympics. But Korea, will most assuredly be watching the 2008 Games with keen interest.

The Beijing Olympics and China's proposed entry into the World Trade Organization in November are likely to accelerate the country's economy. During the next seven years, the Chinese government plans to invest $20 billion in preparation for the 2008 Games. Some experts have analyzed that the Beijing Olympics will bring about $100 billion of output by 2008, including special demands related to the Olympics. The experts forecast, accordingly, that China's gross domestic product will rise to $2 trillion in 2010 from $1 trillion, and that the country will emerge as the world's greatest economic power. Korea, which is competing fiercely with China in the global market, needs to take notice of the negative and positive effects of China's emergence.

Korea's expected difficulties in light of China's progress, results from a rivalry with the country, and might be so serious that we cannot satisfy our own benefits from China's special demands related to the 2008 Olympics. The Korean government and the country's business sector should design thorough measures for changing relations with China, which will surely emerge as the largest trade partner of Korea, replacing the United States.

The decision to award the 2008 Summer Games to Beijing is remarkable since it means the international community has recognized a new status for China, which has developed into a political and military power. China experienced a bitter defeat when, in 1993, it lost by only two votes to Sydney, Australia, the rights for the 2000 Summer Olympics. The defeat was due chiefly to country's deteriorated reputation following the Tiannamen Square massacre. Despite widespread concern about China's human rights record, and the Tibet issues in particular, the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Games. That indeed indicates that the world acknowledges China's status as a power. China's status has also been enhanced by the Bush Administration of the United States, which regards China as a "strategic rival" and thus has no choice but to admit China's real status. We hope that the 2008 Beijing Olympics will contribute to the nation's democratization and reform in human rights, just as the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games did to Korea.

We expect the 2008 Summer Olympic Games will have positive effects on China's relations with Taiwan and in order in Northeast Asia, including the situation in the Korean Peninsula. China is likely to reinforce its tolerance policies toward Taiwan under its principle of the "one country and two system." China is also likely to keep its policies toward the Korean Peninsula, in which the country contributes inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, in order to make the surrounding situations good through the Olympics. We hope the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will contribute to peace and progress in East Asia and the world.
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