This Week in China

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Top Story Beijing’s opening ceremonies lifted off without a hitch Friday, bringing awe to spectators in China and around the world — or so it seemed. The squeaky-clean ceremonies, however, were too good to be true in some respects, as reports emerged of lip-syncing and computer-generated fake fireworks. Violence, too, interrupted the ...

593263_080813_olympics5.jpg
593263_080813_olympics5.jpg

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Top Story

Beijing's opening ceremonies lifted off without a hitch Friday, bringing awe to spectators in China and around the world -- or so it seemed. The squeaky-clean ceremonies, however, were too good to be true in some respects, as reports emerged of lip-syncing and computer-generated fake fireworks.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Top Story

Beijing’s opening ceremonies lifted off without a hitch Friday, bringing awe to spectators in China and around the world — or so it seemed. The squeaky-clean ceremonies, however, were too good to be true in some respects, as reports emerged of lip-syncing and computer-generated fake fireworks.

Violence, too, interrupted the first few days of competition. Attacks continued in the western region of Xinjiang, while a Chinese man attacked an American couple with a knife at a popular tourist destination on Saturday, killing the man and wounding his wife before killing himself. The couple was related to an American Olympic volleyball coach.

More Olympics

China’s strategy for focusing on events that award more medals appears to paying off. As of 3:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, China led the gold medal count with 17, while the United States had the most medals overall at 29. Check out Google’s nifty map for updates.

Seats at the Olympics are surprisingly empty.

Less surprisingly, so are the “protest pens.”

A British journalist was detained Wednesday, covering a protest led by eight U.S. pro-Tibet activists.

The first U.S. president to attend an Olympics on foreign soil, President Bush used his presidential-record fourth visit to prod China on religious freedom, inaugurate a new U.S. embassy in Beijing, and cheer on America’s athletes.

Politics

Religous leaders describe a government crackdown. One religious dissident, detained on his way to visit a service with President Bush, has escaped, however.

The Dalai Lama is in France, but will not meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Economy

Thanks to a rapidly weakening U.S. economy, China is set to become the world’s largest manufacturer, four years earlier than predicted.

China’s trade surplus grew in July to $25.3 billion, its highest level in eight months and a 4 percent increase from July 2007.

Wholesale prices, however, rose even more, up 10 percent from July 2007.

Overall, inflation is down and growth is “set to stabilize.”

Environment

Is China’s Olympic cleanup actually bad for global warming?

Taiwan

Taiwan plans to seek “participation,” but not a “return” or membership, in the United Nations this fall.

Taiwan’s coast guard is holding a former Chinese soldier who swam eight hours across the Taiwan Strait to defect.

Patrick Fitzgerald is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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