China has begun celebrations to mark one year before the Beijing Olympics. The games will begin on August 8, 2008 – the Chinese consider eight to be an auspicious number. The heavily orchestrated drum roll ahead of the main event next year is designed to show a united, modern and capable China rising to the challenge of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event. The people of Beijing are being encouraged to get fit, learn English and understand Western customs.The Communist Party has a grand vision of the project, with the party boss describing the Olympic Games as a chance to mark a “revival of the Chinese nation”.
China launches 12-month Olympic countdown