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Beijing Winter Olympics reveal a very different China

Timidity ahead of 2008 Summer Games now all but forgotten

| China
A person wearing personal protective equipment walks inside Beijing Capital International Airport on Jan. 31: this time, Beijing is welcoming very few outsiders at all.   © Reuters

Richard McGregor is a senior fellow for east Asia at the Lowy Institute. He is author of "The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers."

Just two weeks ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government announced that it had designated three parks in the capital for anyone wanting to protest during The Games.

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