China is currently bidding against Almaty, Kazakhstan for the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. In general, this is a bad idea – Beijing has little to no snow in the winter, but lots and lots of smog. And those are just the starter reasons (I documented more in this column for Bloomberg last year).
In any case, today, while reading Beijing’s full bid document as submitted to the International Olympic Committee last week (available here), I came across another: the organizing committee appears intent on deluding itself and, most assuredly, the world. Take, for example, this passage that I screengrabbed from volume I of the bid:
I won’t go into the history of the Great Wall, but suffice it to say that the structure was a military fortification designed to keep China isolated from the world. That is to say, it was designed to keep everyone out. Or, to put it differently – generally speaking, people who want to meet and integrate with others don’t build giant walls.
In any case, it’s a small point. But one worth noting.