Chinabeat has put together some pretty good links that outline many of the festivities going on for the big 60th anniversary. The following link outlines 10 of the biggest and strangest festivities. Personally, I am most surprised by New York’s decision to illuminate the Empire State Building with red and yellow. I especially found this interesting considering the New York Times’ coverage of this event; typical for the New York Times, the coverage was less than exuberant. Another piece on Chinabeat argues that the festivities in Beijing are meant to showcase the military might of the current regime; the piece also goes on to talk about the future of Sino-US relations in light of China’s growing influence. Most of the pictures about the event certainly seem to imply that most of the events, parades, and even dance routines are performed by or about the military. Then again, I believe that the festivities are more than that: it seems that the 60th anniversary celebrations are meant to be an interim display of China’s ability to host and create large scale events between the Beijing Olympics and the upcoming 2010 Shanghai World’s Fair. In a recent lecture about his new book Global Shanghai: 1850-2010 , Jeff Wasserstrom tied the Beijing opening ceremonies and the Shanghai World’s Fair fervor to the energy and seemingly limitless expense the PRC currently put towards the 60th anniversary (Wasserstrom has written a lot about the Olympics and 2010 Expo connection; one that slightly also mentions the 60th anniversary can be read here). In general, what Wasserstrom argued was that the Olympics weren’t the pinnacle of China’s ability to top the rest of the world in hosting world events, it was just one example of many to come. And considering the importance of 2009 to the PRC’s legitimacy, it makes sense that this national event (as opposed to the other international events) would serve as another example of China’s growth, power, and national fervor.
Other than Chinabeat, I also found a few other articles about the 60th anniversary celebration worth looking at. The following pictoral essays from the Boston Globe seen here and from the New York Times, seen here. Both of course have fantastic pictoral representations of the event, though I find the one at the Boston Globe more creative. Similarly, the New York Times have a series of articles meant to put the 60th anniversary into perspective, such as this piece on the civil war in Changchun and this more interesting editorial compilation about China’s economic future.
Speaking of big events, Rio de Janeiro recently won the bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. It will be the first South American city to host the Olympics, making its significance to Brazil similar to that of China in 2008. I look forward to seeing Brazil’s approach to the Olympics (and the world’s approach to Brazil) develop over the next few years.
If anyone has any other interesting links or information about the 60th anniversary, please post them!