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This week, the world gathers in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games. This is the extraordinary moment China has been dreaming of for 100 years. People have been longing for this moment, because it symbolises a turning point in China's relationship with the outside world.

This week, the world gathers in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games. This is the extraordinary moment China has been dreaming of for 100 years. People have been longing for this moment, because it symbolises a turning point in China's relationship with the outside world.


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Author introduction

Ai Weiwei (Chinese: 艾未未; pinyin: Ài Wèiwèi, English pronunciation (help·info); born 28 August 1957 in Beijing) is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. His father's (Ai Qing) original surname was written Jiang (蔣).[1][2][3] Ai collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron as consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[4] As an activist, he has been openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[5] In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without charge; officials alluded to allegations of "economic crimes".[6]



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