Did China Rediscover Its Soul?

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In my 2005 book, Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer, I asked whether the Middle Kingdom would summon enough courage to show the best side of itself. “Will the opening ceremony be a rousing release of national passion or an Orwellian propaganda spectacular? Will an insecure government paranoid about losing face overshadow the awe-inspiring zip, zing and pizzazz of the Chinese people?  

On Friday night, Aug. 8, as I sat among 100,000 spectators at the “Bird’s Nest” stadium, an architectural masterpiece of epic proportion and sublime transcendence, the question resolved itself with an emphatic exclamation point: China would reveal to the world — and itself — its soul, shaped across thousands of years of triumph and tragedy. 



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