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Foreign media affirm Beijing Olympics' contributions to China
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On the first anniversary of the 2008 Olympic Games, held in the Chinese capital Beijing, foreign media published a number of editorials and stories that praised the positive changes that were brought about by the Olympics in China.

Improvement of cityscape

The facilities and buildings that were designed and constructed for the Beijing Olympics have undoubtedly changed the city's landscape and China's image in the eyes of foreigners, Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao newspaper said in an article on Friday.

The Bird's Nest, which served as the main stadium of the Beijing Olympics, and the Water Cube, the National Aquatics Center, represented the enterprising spirit of the Chinese people, said the newspaper.

The energy-saving and environmental concept of the avenues' design also indicated that China was paying more attention to both the quality and the quantity of its development than ever before on its way to modernization, Lianhe Zaobao observed.

According to the Singaporean newspaper, a total number of 358 green and energy-saving projects were implemented, and nine solar water-heating systems were built for the Beijing Olympics.

The environment-oriented legacy of the Beijing Olympic Games should spread across China, and the enterprising spirit of the Games should be passed on, said the newspaper.

Rising public confidence

Another story published Thursday by The Associated Press (AP) said that China and its people have become more confident due to the success of the Beijing Olympics and China's rising economy.

"The past 12 months have seen China take a high-profile role in response to the global economic meltdown and dispatch ships to the international anti-piracy fleet off Somalia -- the country's first-ever overseas naval deployment," the AP story announced.

"The Games have made the Chinese Communist Party leadership and the general public in China feel more confident about China and its future," AP quoted Steve Tsang, an expert on China at Oxford University, as saying.

Xu Guoqi, author of "Olympic Dreams: China and Sports 1895-2008," told AP that for many decades, the Chinese have suffered from "an inferiority complex."

"The success in hosting the Games and winning Olympic gold medals has largely cured this inferiority syndrome and helped them get rid of the label of China as 'The Sick Man of East Asia,'" Xu said.

Reuters reported that China has decided to make Aug. 8, the anniversary of the Olympic opening, its annual National Fitness Day, in hopes that the Olympics will raise health awareness nationwide.

Secretary General of Tanzania Olympic Committee Fibert Bayi believed the National Fitness Day was the best way to commemorate the Olympics.

According to Bayi, this would help get more Chinese people involved in sport. Thus, the Olympics would never be forgotten.

Valuable experience

Chinese Biz News, a Chinese-language newspaper based in Los Angeles, said in a commentary Saturday that the Beijing Olympics were a testimony to scientific development and could significantly contribute to China's efforts to break the bottleneck in its economic development.

Following the practice of the "People's Olympics," a Beijing commitment besides "High-tech Olympics and Green Olympics," the Chinese government made the people's well-being a priority amid the global economic downturn, the commentary said.

Despite a sharp decrease in financial revenue, Beijing raised its expenditure on housing, medical care, transportation, social security and education, leading to remarkable development in these sectors and robust consumption growth in the first half of this year, it continued.

The commentary also noted that according to the U.N. Environment Program, Beijing more than fulfilled its promises on environmental protection, including reducing air pollution and improving traffic and the development of renewable energy.

Currently, Beijing enjoys the best air quality since 2000 thanks to its efforts to close down heavily polluted industries, the commentary observed.

A low-carbon economy is a strong driving force behind Beijing's long-term development, it said, adding that Beijing will set a template for other big and medium-sized Chinese cities seeking sustainable development.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2009)

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