On the political and public relations side, there are a number of growing challenges. These span from Taiwan's participation in the Torch Relay, to environmental concerns to growing criticism of Chinese foreign and domestic policies by international NGOs like Amnesty International. Next year's Olympics will put Beijing and China on the world stage The question is: where will the spotlight shine?
John Bowan has worked as a consultant on Beijing's successful bid for the Games and was Manager of International Relations for the Sydney Games from 1997 to 2000. In 2004, John wrote a longer piece on the international politics of the Beijing Games for the Lowy Institute.