The Softer Touch

How China hopes to seal its bid for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games

Ren Wanding was in prison the last time Beijing made a bid for the Olympic Games. That was 1993, and he was serving seven years for supporting the 1989 student demonstrations that ended in the disastrous Tiananmen Square massacre. There was no way he could support the bid, Ren recalls. The Olympic torch would cast a flicker of legitimacy over the Communist Party. Released five years ago, Ren can now crusade against Beijing's current attempt to be host to the 2008 Summer Games. But he isn't, and not because he's afraid. Instead he is hopeful that the Games will empower leaders...

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