When China attained the right to host the 2008 Olympics Games in the year 2001, the government started plans to making the Olympics to be the best in the history of the games. However, the government plan was to face challenges like putting up world class transportation system that was to capture the eyes of the visitors; managing the pollution that has been in the recent past before the games an environmental hazard; controlling the traffic and establishing accommodation hotels across Beijing. The efforts were not as a move to impress the visitors who were to come; this was aimed at setting a mood for investors to expand the economy of China. Paralympics is a key international sport involving participants with a range of intellectual and physical disabilities. The disabilities include blindness, amputations, and cerebral palsy. The Paralympics games are governed by international Paralympics committee (IPC).
The government and its aims to improve its image to the globe and to foreign investors had an impact of economic value to the local citizen. The fact that roads were expanded to control traffic, subways and railways to expand the reliability of the transport system, pollution controlled to acceptable levels, businesses expanded to carter for hospitability to the visitors and new airports built to facilitate efficient local and international flights; gave the local citizens the opportunities of a lifetime in that they were able to venture into business with better environment which boosted their morale in doing their businesses. “The improved transport system encouraged the mobility of business factors like labor and materials, relocation and market reach” (Chen, 2011)
If nobody owned a business in China during this period, the government and it’s preparation for the Olympics would have given all citizens jobs to help in the preparations, however, this is not the case most of the unemployed citizens in China during this time got jobs in the construction industries to provide labor in building the stadiums, hotels, subways, railways, roads and environmental pollution control stations (Burbank, Andranovich, & Heying, 2001). The number of people that was employed to do this exceeded 2million and this on the side of GDP improved the economy by 0.03. (Dick & Wang, 2008). As much as population in China is concerned, improving the GDP isn’t a short term task for a country as large as China, but with the aim of recreating and improving its image the Olympics were a factor of image and economic strategy for China.
NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF THE BEIJING OLYMPICS TO THE CITIZENS
Who was to cover the government spending on the preparations of the Beijing Olympics? The cost of the preparation was not covered by sponsors. The Chinese government was out to cover their dented image to the global village. When all the settings and preparations were in place, what followed was paying of the price. This was directly transferred to the common citizen through all taxed goods and services. Inflation grew so rapidly with a short period that the middle earning citizens could hardly manage on legal operations.
Food stuffs and other basics needs became almost unaffordable due the inflation. This resulted to a decrease in the consumer buying ability. A reflection of this to the lives of the common citizen was that life was starting to get unbearable despite the oncoming Beijing Olympics. Housing and land costs shot up that discouraged most of the local investors, t some extend the foreigners also felt the pinch. Normal services like transport though not affect by this due to the subsidy on public transport, was felt at the private level. Fuel costs went up to an increased taxes on import duty. As much as most industries rely on electricity a good number also takes fuel and gas as the main form of energy. Heavy machinery requiring the use of fuel and other supplements to work properly were seen to be abandoned. (The Sociological Review 2006)
Tourism was affected by this inflation because local and international tourists have to find accommodations. For the international tourists, they would log to the internet to book accommodations but comparing the Beijing and other parts of the world that can substitute China, they would opt not to tour China. The local citizens from across other parts of China had a difficult time when touring locally. The impact of inflation was costing China a big deal of Tourist income (Garrison, 2009)
The gymnasia that were created served elite athlete who had the kind of money to cater for the hiked fees. Generally despite the fact that the city of Beijing was hosting the Olympics, this fact of unaffordable gymnasia derailed the sporty mood of the citizens. The amount that was supposed to go to the gyms would be put to other uses.
Beijing Contribution to National GDP:
The population of Beijing is 1.1% of the national total. The amount that Beijing contributes to the national GDP is always less than three percent (3%). Whether the amount used in the preparation of the Olympic event, $40billion, was to be recovered this was only 0.03 0f the national GDP. All these aimed at encouraging investment, the discouraging part being that the development of Beijing to a world class investment platform did not allow for pullovers. The investors who were attracted by the Beijing scenery and availability of market would only invest in Beijing only. The rest of the extensive cities of China would have none of it. At the national aggregate Beijing population and the amount they contribute to the total national revenue is not significant (Loy, 2005). The long-term assessment of the facts contributes to a decline in the numbers and the percentage of the GDP aggregate.
Harassment of Journalists:
Do all of the China visitors have to get there to know how the place is actually? Media is the means to broadcast the Beijing lifestyle and environment to the world. Prior to the Olympics media personnel and journalists would be directed to air what the government wanted. Controlled media freedom was rampant. Neglect to the directives from government led to a vast majority of journalists being arrested and tortured. Controlling of the media by the government was a move to mask the dirty operations that were taking place behind the face of the world. Making Beijing look presentable to all people, controlling the environmental pollutants and creating sewage treatment plants; was enough to make anybody believe the rest of China looked the same. The liable source that could have opened the eyes of the world was the media whose freedom had been masked.
China is the world’s notorious country in controlling and censoring websites. Its effectiveness in doing controlling websites, as led many websites who could give a clear picture on China being put out of operation or being disabled. This factor to the common citizen and foreigner has a scary side to investment. Many companies that came to China on a feasibility assessment did not find exactly what was being aired. Some revelations were disturbing to the investors. Those who rely solely on a bigger scope had to withdraw the whole idea of investment. Coverage of some bits and leaving out others was substantially a clue of not so much of good news as economic investment was concerned.
Neglect of Other Economic Sectors:
Focusing on one thing too much can harm the economy of a country. Beijing on its case put every focus to the Olympics and forgot or neglected deliberately dome other sectors of the economy. The capital education investment was slashed; this meant the standards of education were to go down were the government hand was needed. The economic output of any country relies heavily on education. Poor education on the other hand would lead to deteriorating economic fuelling like market strategists, financial advisors and statisticians.
On the sector of health, the amount that would be allocated for the health in previous years before China won the petition to host the Olympics went to cover the extensive government spending on the preparations. Economy hanging and leaning to one side is an unbalanced one. There could be no way government would allocate the funds for health to boost the arenas and venues for sports. This was a blow to the citizens in that, those who held health policies from insurance companies would be forced to spend their money before the government paid off the health benefits of its employees to the insurers.
The hosting of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was both an economic blister and a financial cake at the same time. The short term fruits of the event served as the financial cake, while the dents that were coursed to the common citizen affected the primary economy more. Big companies can put and pull themselves out of financial difficulties but how about the citizen who was out there by his/her own government. China’s economy as a whole could not be pushed by Beijing alone. To the residents and businessmen of Beijing the preparations were a big economic boost. Roads, subways and airports were put in place to mediate proper channel of business mobility. Beijing economy improved to individual citizens and industries but the collective nationwide output wouldn’t have been promoted by Beijing alone.