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London in Beijing 2008


Sir Rols

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From the news wires:

BEIJING, April 9, 2006 (AFP) - Ken Livingstone, mayor of 2012 Olympic host London, arrived in Beijing Sunday for a three-day visit hoping to learn from the Chinese capital's experience in preparing for the 2008 Games.

Livingstone was accompanied by a large delegation representing mostly business and finance, in a sign that the trip also aimed to boost business ties between the two cities.

``My purpose in Beijing is clearly to see what we can learn from the way Beijing has prepared for the Olympic Games,'' he told reporters as he visited Tiananmen Square.

``But also it's much more than that. We want to try and build very strong links between London and Beijing.''

While London could learn from Beijing's efforts to organize the Olympics, the British capital could teach the Chinese how to regulate traffic better, he said.

``We have very good experience in London with the congestion charge, which has cut the number of people coming in to central London,'' he said, adding that carbon pollution was down by 20 percent as a result.

Livingstone said he would also use the trip to discuss the role London, as the next host city, would play at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Speaking in front of Beijing's Olympic Clock, which counts down the days, hours and minutes until the 2008 Games, Livingstone said he probably would not be able to set up a similar clock in London.

``I've been trying to erect a statue of Nelson Mandela, the South African leader, and (the city council has) been resisting that. So I don't think they'll be terribly happy with a clock,'' he said.

He called for more Olympics to be held in the developing countries to emphasize the event's global character.

``It's high time now, I think, that we need to see a Latin American or African country hosting the Games as well, (and) recognize these should be for the whole world, spread around much more regularly,'' he said.

When asked what he thought of visiting Tiananmen Square, scene of a democracy movement that was brutally suppressed in 1989, he said no country had a completely clean record.

``In the same way that Trafalgar Square has had an interesting history in the past, not always a peaceful one, there's a very clear parallel,'' he said.

Livingstone, who will move on for a two-day stay in China's largest city Shanghai Wednesday, touted London's potential as a location for Chinese stock market listings.

``It's a very strong race between London and New York to be the preferred site for Chinese firms (listing) in the West,'' he said.

Among the members of Livingstone's delegation was Sebastian Coe, chairman of London's Olympics organizing committee who planned talks with the Beijing organizers.

``This is the first time that we can start some formal discussions,'' Coe told reporters.

He said the potential topics included ``urban renewal and all the challenges that both cities face in delivering the Olympic Games,'' along with the challenge of getting more young people involved in Olympic sports.

AFP

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Actually, while we're on the topic, I wonder if anybody's had any thoughts on what the handover to London in the Beijing closing ceremony might be like?

One thing, it'll be interesting. The last time China and the UK cooperated in a ceremony, it was Britain that was doing the handover (of Hong Kong) to China!

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Actually, while we're on the topic, I wonder if anybody's had any thoughts on what the handover to London in the Beijing closing ceremony might be like?

One thing, it'll be interesting. The last time China and the UK cooperated in a ceremony, it was Britain that was doing the handover (of Hong Kong) to China!

Maybe it would be a nice gesture then if Beijing handed it back in 2008! :P

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One thing, it'll be interesting. The last time China and the UK cooperated in a ceremony, it was Britain that was doing the handover (of Hong Kong) to China!

Maybe it would be a nice gesture then if Beijing handed it back in 2008! :P

The Olympics AND Hong Kong! I don't think the Chinese will be THAT generous!!

One thing about the handover ceremony,I expect we will probably not nominate Prince Charles to receive the Olympic flag after the nasty things he's said about China's political leaders!

On the other hand,it might be seen as a fittingly symbolic gesture,from one "appalling old waxwork" to another! :wwww:

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For that matter, Livingstone would be the one that will have the honor of waving the Olympic Flag at the 2008 closing ceremony. Of course, I don't know how London chooses its civic leader. Most of all, it will be interesting on what the London presentation will look like at that time, too.
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For that matter, Livingstone would be the one that will have the honor of waving the Olympic Flag at the 2008 closing ceremony. Of course, I don't know how London chooses its civic leader. Most of all, it will be interesting on what the London presentation will look like at that time, too.

Presuming he's still in office as I think he's up for re-election in 2008.But even if he's not,I expect him to be be given a special place as one of the people who brought the games to London in the first place.

I like Ken but have to admit he is also a bit gaffe-prone as is shown by his comments comparing the Tiananmen Square massacre to the poll tax riots in Trafalgar Square.Hopefully he'll say the right things when he comes to accept the Olympic flag from his opposite number in Beijing.

I too look forward to an imaginative presentation ceremony from London at the 2008 closing ceremony.Just over two years to go now,so I hope they are working hard on it!!  :;):

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For that matter, Livingstone would be the one that will have the honor of waving the Olympic Flag at the 2008 closing ceremony. Of course, I don't know how London chooses its civic leader. Most of all, it will be interesting on what the London presentation will look like at that time, too.

Presuming he's still in office as I think he's up for re-election in 2008.But even if he's not,I expect him to be be given a special place as one of the people who brought the games to London in the first place.

I like Ken but have to admit he is also a bit gaffe-prone as is shown by his comments comparing the Tiananmen Square massacre to the poll tax riots in Trafalgar Square.Hopefully he'll say the right things when he comes to accept the Olympic flag from his opposite number in Beijing.

We should send Ken out with Prince Philip to make a joint speech! Now, that would be fun!

:laugh:

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We should send Ken out with Prince Philip to make a joint speech! Now, that would be fun!

:laugh:

Lol!!

...to be topped off with a select reading from Prince Charles' diaries perhaps?!?!?!  :P

I think they all may have to get out of Beijing in a hurry!  :o

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