Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

State employees drafted in for Olympic work

Latest update : 2008-07-21

These are confusing times for the thousands of Chinese state employees recquisitionned to help stage the Olympic Games. While national pride is felt throughout the country, some still found the change of occupation quite surprising.

When Tang Li heard he was going to contribute to the Olympic Games, he initially jumped with joy… “I always dreamed of being able to attend the Olympics, and now I have a unique opportunity to see them from the inside!” But Tang will have to follow the event from the inside of a truck.

 

Like hundreds of state employees, Tang has been requisitioned for the Olympics. A telecoms engineer in normal times, Tang will spend the two weeks of the Games as a delivery man, driving a van around the Chinese capital.

 

“During the Olympics, I have been asked to deliver food to the Olympic village. I will have to drive a van,” Tang explains with the slightest hint of a grimace. “Fortunately, I will still be paid my normal wage.”

 

It is like the China of old - a national drive to get people to help out. Almost every state-run company is supplying staff to make sure the Olympics run smoothly.

 

An office assistant becomes a translator. Another will greet arriving delegations. And some, like Tang, will be drivers. A lucky few will be able to take it easy during the Games - their companies were told to shut down during the Olympics in an attempt to cut congestion in the Chinese capital. Others will experience the novelty of working at home, but everyone will have to change their schedule during the two weeks of competition.

 

“We have been asked to start work an hour later and finish an hour later,” a worker at state channel CCTV explains.

 

Tens of thousands of State employees will be affected in some way by the Games. And for many in Beijing, it will be a difficult couple of weeks. Their daily routine will be turned upside down while the Olympic flame lights up the city's streets.

Date created : 2008-07-21

COMMENT(S)