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Beijing's unusual Olympics -- a lesson for the world?

This year's Winter Games highlight democracies' limits in facing China

BEIJING -- The Beijing Winter Olympics have finally begun.

At the opening ceremony, President Xi Jinping of China, which has been criticized for human rights issues in Xinjiang and elsewhere, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, which is embroiled in a crisis around Ukraine, exchanged smiles. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach praised China, the host of the games. It was an ironic scene at the "festival of peace."

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