I don’t think very much. Yes. In terms of making a stand on the world stage, and showing all of us that YES, China can do it, I think much has been accomplished in Beijing 2008. However, if we look at the long term benefits to China and it’s people as a whole, I doubt it helped much.
The tens of billions of dollars could have and should have (in my opinion) be used to aid the large number of less privileged citizens of China. There are so many things that can be done with the money that will provide longer run benefits to the people of China, in turn helping them to compete in the world stage. To finish the cycle, these Chinese people will be able to push China’s economy to even greater skies.
I’m not sure what China wants to get out of hosting this Olympics. It’s a highly acclaimed world sporting event, yes. It will propel China’s visibility to the skies, yes. It will provide millions of jobs, yes. It will push Beijing’s GDP, yes. But for how long? And by how much?
We look at history, what has Olympics brought for past host countries? Not much progress, but a lot of wastage. Look at Athens. Less than 4 years after they hosted the Summer Olymics in 2004, and almost all their Olympic facilities are “abandoned, derelict, covered in graffiti and rubbish”. It’s painful to look at these photos and think back on how glorious the 2004 Olympics was.
Of course, however, we cannot discount the pros that hosting the Olympics has brought to Beijing (and only Beijing). The transport systems have very much improved, the environment immensely upgraded, better public facilities, and of course, the biggest benefit, the skills that the Chinese people have learned.
The effects of the games is yet to be over, and I’m eagerly & anxiously waiting to see how it all unfolds. Crossing my fingers too.