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17:29, August 15, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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Even though the Beijing Olympics has long been a hot topic since China won the Olympic bid in 2001, the opening ceremony held last Friday has actually divided among some foreign personages and media on their ingrained views over China.

It is reported that some Western critics who used to be strongly prejudiced against China have totally abandoned their bias following the opening ceremony. They realized from the fine spectacle displayed in the opening performance that the country they used to point fingers at - a vast sea of wisdom and culture, which is far beyond their ken – that they need to rebuild their perception of the old civilization.

The Games also gave these foreigners a motive to learn about China's grass roots culture by getting closer to ordinary Chinese people. Some Western media staff reported that the Chinese people are generally optimistic; and although they criticize the administration and some government policies, they still have high expectations for the country's development and future.

The success of hosting the Olympics has also altered the reporting perspectives of some media which not long ago vilified China by slanting news. One editorial pointed out that "to view China, we should try to refrain from simplicity; to report on China, we need to first view it from a new perspective and out of genuine curiosity."

The next question is: what caused the noticeable change in their attitudes toward China? Obviously, the Olympic Games acts as a bridge narrowing the gap of communication.

Admittedly, those wearing tinted glasses while looking at China and having formed a distorted image of China cannot easily shake off their hard line bias against China, partially because they lack an adequate understanding of China. But even to those who denigrated China with words and deeds before the Games, the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee still extended a warm welcome and sincere invitation, which shows Beijing's open and wise attitude to all those who intended to participate in the Games and honor the Olympic spirit.

Beijing disregards former grievances, as it is already standing at a new height and looking into a long distance ahead. The grand opening ceremony of the Olympics has not only given people from across the world an emotional shock but also a cultural shock to those who used to have misunderstanding of China.

"Seeing is believing," as an old saying goes. Only by direct involvement and contact can people get to know about the target culture. Beijing Olympics sets Chinese culture as the open target for people all over the world to study, accept or reject, as cultural communication is a process in which people choose to adopt and discard with a critical eye. China is also trying to overcome its own shortcomings by learning from others' strong points.

With globalization, cultural communication has scaled new heights. China will take advantage of the Olympic Games to further communicate and cooperate with the international community and help create a new international cooperative space featuring more harmony, friendliness and peace.

By People's Daily Online

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