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The 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay: Chinese and Western Narratives

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  • Kingsley Edney
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    Abstract

    This article investigates the events of the Olympic flame’s international journey leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It focuses on the symbolism of the torch relay and argues that rather than serving as a symbol of international unity and harmony, the relay has strengthened both the Chinese national narrative of victimisation at the hands of foreign powers and the Western narrative of an authoritarian and illiberal China. The article also notes that the response by some overseas Chinese to the attacks on the torch have undermined attempts to use the Olympics to boost the country’s international image, and that these overseas displays of nationalism represent a potential future problem for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg in its journal China aktuell - Journal of Current Chinese Affairs.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 111-125

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    Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:37:y:2008:i:2:p:111-125

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