Foreword by Janet Yellen
The Impact of the Olympics: Shen Dingli
This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.
Click on the play button above to view Shen Dingli’s presentation on the Beijing Olympics.
Prof. Shen argued the success of the Games reaffirmed China’s standing among world leaders. China’s economy is now the third largest in the world. He believes that the domestic and international impacts of the Games are intertwined and can’t be easily separated. He noted that this was a huge national event for China. Ordinarily the Games are hosted by individual cities and managed by non-governmental organizations, but in this case the reputation of the entire nation was at stake. In the U.S., taxpayers would complain if soldiers were deployed to train as performers for the Games. In China, people saw it as a matter of national credibility and understood the deployment. Prof. Shen also suggested that efforts to link the Games to the situation in Darfur was depicted by the Chinese government as unfair, but the protests did lead the Chinese government to change its policies toward Sudan, to quietly push for action to address the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. And many in the international community appreciated this effort. It was a useful experience for the Chinese government to act in response to criticism and then to see critics giving them credit for the effort.
China and the state of California have built deep and interdependent socioeconomic exchanges that reverberate across the globe, and these interactions make California a microcosm of the most important international relationship of the twenty-first century. In his book, journalist Matt Sheehan chronicles the real people who are making these connections.