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In order to put on the show known as the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the governmenthas enlisted the help of major foreign players to "package" China. Public relations and marketing firms are helping to present and brand Beijing for the Games, while legal firms have been hired by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) to protect their intellectual property. Following previous IR2008 updates covering the involvement of foreign companies as Olympic sponsors and partners, this update focuses on PR and legal services.Aside from bringing in foreign expertise, the Beijing government has also initiated large-scale campaigns to improve Beijing's image for the Games, including initiatives to encourage residents to clean up their manners. The Games are expected to draw 800,000 foreign visitors and one million domestic visitors to Beijing,3 making presentation, marketing and branding key goals for Chinese officials in anticipation of 2008.
As host of the Olympic Games, China seeks to increase national economic and socialdevelopment and "display to the world a new image of China", and presents the Games as an opportunity to foster democracy, improve human rights and integrate China with the rest of the world. In its Olympic Action Plan promulgated in 2002, China outlined the phases of construction in the run up to the 2008 Games, and the standards to which it would hold itself in the governance and construction of venues, impact on Beijing's environment, increasing social and economic development and providing China's citizenry with greater access to information and technology.The goals and specific commitments that the government has adopted not only have implications for the smooth and successfuloperation of the Olympic Games, but also have the potential to impact on a number of China's international obligations, including its human rights obligations.Despite human rights-related commitments as diverse as transparency and accountability, access to information and freedom of the press, poverty alleviation, an improved standard of living for all people, and compensation for evictions and health issues, the record to date raises serious compliance issues.
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