BEIJING SNAPSHOT: Together for a shared future, apart

Feb 4, 2022, 6:59 AM | Updated: 9:01 pm
People wait at a bus stop at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo...

People wait at a bus stop at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

BEIJING (AP) — The ever-present slogan that governs these Winter Olympics is meant to evoke the ideal of one world. In reality, it’s two.

Bus shelters, buildings and the walls that form the membrane of the Olympic bubble all exhort: “Together for a shared future.” But the Chinese residents waiting in front of these hoardings, bundled up against the frigid temperatures, are solidly out of the loop.

At the opening ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach declared that the mission of the Olympics rested in “always building bridges, never erecting walls.” Yet with ticket sales closed to the public — Beijing is inviting 150,000 spectators, a chunk of which will be “international friends” — the locals are nearly completely walled out of their Olympics figuratively and literally.

Of course, the bifurcation of Beijing is not a capricious plot to alienate its residents. It’s driven by China’s “zero COVID” strategy and is, at least in part, an attempt to keep those same residents safe. Underscoring the rallying cry of the Olympic slogan is the desire for international cooperation to surmount shared challenges — like the pandemic from which the bubble swelled — together, not a literal call for mingling.

As Olympic shuttles roll through the streets, the membrane erodes to its thinnest point, allowing glimpses of the curiosity and, often, boredom with which Beijing residents study the riders. But any apathy was shed for unmitigated delight Friday night as residents clustered on city streets and by the riverbank to catch sight of the fireworks emanating from a lit-up Bird’s Nest during the opening ceremony — residents and interlopers united in wonder, if merely for a moment.

___

New York-based Associated Press journalist Mallika Sen is on assignment at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mallikavsen. More AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
7 hours ago
FILE - The Treasury Building is viewed in Washington, May 4, 2021. Tens of millions of small U.S. c...
Associated Press

Treasury moves forward with database on corporate ownership

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of millions of small U.S. companies will soon be required to provide the government with details on their owners and others who benefit from them under a regulation that became final on Thursday and is intended to peel back the layers of ownership that often hide unlawfully obtained assets. The Treasury […]
1 day ago
FILE - Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy stands on the field at Bre...
Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs praying coach, no sweeping changes

Across the ideological spectrum, there were predictions of dramatic consequences when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a public high school football coach’s right to pray on the field after games. Yet three months after the decision — and well into the football season — there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches […]
1 day ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, greets dignitaries from Pacific Island Countries during th...
Associated Press

Biden’s Pacific strategy heralds new engagement in region

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Thursday unveiled a Pacific strategy designed to bolster U.S. engagement with more than a dozen island nations on issues including climate change and maritime security while pledging to expand the U.S. diplomatic presence in the region. The Biden administration released its new strategy, as well as plans for […]
1 day ago
Protest posters are placed in front of the fuel element fabrication plant of the 'framatome' compan...
Associated Press

Russia’s nuclear trade with Europe flowing amid Ukraine war

PARIS (AP) — While the European Union agreed to curtail its use of Russian oil and gas, its member nations continue to import and export nuclear fuel that is not under EU sanctions – to the chagrin of the Ukrainian government and environmental activists. A cargo ship carrying uranium that departed from the French port […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

US economy drops at 0.6% annual rate from April through June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Battered by surging consumer prices and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy shrank at a 0.6% annual rate from April through June, the government announced Thursday, unchanged from its previous second-quarter estimate. It marked the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction, one informal rule of thumb for a recession. Most economists, citing […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
BEIJING SNAPSHOT: Together for a shared future, apart