Paradise Beijing

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I have a slight modification to propose to the International Olympic Charter. I suggest that the Olympics, and the Paralympics, be run back-to-back, nonstop, month after month and year after year -- and always in Beijing. It could be tough on the athletes, but think of the golds they could win! And with this system, the city might continue to enjoy the phenomenal blue skies and beautiful weather that have prevailed for most of the last four weeks. This morning, Sept 12:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5220.jpg

Yesterday afternoon, Sept. 11:
http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5222.jpg

The traffic and factory shut-down rules that started on July 20 will still be in effect for eight more days, thanks to the Paralympics. The Paralympics have been moving and impressive in ways I'll describe later. For now, we're enjoying these moments while we have them; assuming nothing about the future; but hoping that the Chinese citizenry and leadership have noticed how transformed the city is when it looks like these pictures -- and not the one from two months ago, mercifully after the jump.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5233.jpg


http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5234.jpg

 On July 20:
http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_3834.jpg

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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