The Long Tail of the Beijing Olympics

From Judy Dempsey, describing China's increasing reach in Eastern Europe:

From the Baltic states to the Balkans, Chinese companies, flush with money, are buying real estate and competing for public infrastructure contracts, especially as Poland and Ukraine work at breakneck speed to jointly play host to the 2012 European soccer championship.

I'd already seen some suggestion that Brazil was also turning to China for expertise and support in advance of hosting the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics were seen at the time through the prism of soft power -- China's coming out party. But its legacy seems to be more concrete, and I mean that literally, not as a pun. Infrastructure is a key tool in the Chinese trade kit, and the sports-industrial complex is taking on increasing prominence in statecraft. In that context, the experience of hosting the Olympics is looking pretty valuable for Chinese trade policy.

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