THE BIG PITCH: How should China polish up its global image toattract the 2008 Olympics?


SVP and Director of Public Affairs, Global Corporate Practice

Manning Selvage & Lee

China's government suffers from two interrelated problems of image:

memories of its brutal crackdown in Tiannamen Square and a more general

sense that it cares little about human rights. The government needs to

send a message that the China of today is more open, more accessible,

and more inviting of free-flowing discussion than the China of Mao

Through TV and other means of communication, it should let the world see

the advances that China is making through trade and a more aggressive

engagement in world affairs. It also should put on display the youthful

leaders who will shape China in the next century, reinforcing the point

that today's China is a far cry from the mysterious land of doddering,

intolerant dictators.


President/Managing Partner

Earle Palmer Brown

First and foremost, China would have to demonstrate to the world a

significant turnaround in its human rights policies. This is a threshold

requirement. Next, is the issue of venues. Since Tiannamen Square will

be forever linked with student deaths, it would hardly be an appropriate

location for any Olympic ceremony or athletic event. One solution ...

find or build suitable alternative venues and use the occasion of the

Olympic Games as a global communications platform for recognizing

Tiannamen Square as an enduring memorial to the human ideal of free




Rubenstein Associates

First, the Chinese should be looking to project the culture of the

country because they have an enormous heritage in the performing and

visual arts. Second, there is a need to project the rising middle class

and their values. When I visited, I saw a very thriving economy, one

that wouldn't exist if it were throttled by a repressive government.

Thirdly, they are evolving a legal system there and have certainly

changed a lot on the human rights issue. They ought to talk about that.

The ministers I spoke to were willing to talk to the US media about it.

I think they should visit countries like the US, England and some of the

world media centers and provide more dialogue about what China is today

and the evolution that is going on there. That would help their image a

great deal.



Westwind Communications

China needs to communicate the transformation it has made in the past

ten years both economically and socially. They need to demonstrate to

the world how they have embraced capitalism while maintaining their rich

culture and history. Visitors to China can experience the hundreds of

life-size stone carved warriors in Xian, the 4,500-mile-long Great Wall

and the Forbidden City in Beijing. China offers visitors a fascinating

step back in time. Yet, it offers a glimpse into the future as well with

modern cities like Shanghai, which may be the most cosmopolitan city on

the planet, with more neon lights than Las Vegas.

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