Beijing Paranoia

In a previous piece, I wrote that the Beijing Olympics were typified by an air of paranoia, due to the desire to ensure everything was pristine. I must admit to having been surprised by the lengths that they are willing to go.

First, we have an item from the BBC’s Jake Humphrey:

I thought about telling you how desperate China seems for these Games to look absolutely perfect – a lady was even hoovering the pavement outside my hotel this morning!

But that’s not all – it’s just emerged that the Opening Ceremony contained a fairly insidious fraud, namely this:

As it turns out, the little girl was just lip-synching, as the UK Daily Telegraph reports:

Chinese officials have admitted deceiving the public over another highlight of the Olympic opening ceremony: the picture-perfect schoolgirl who sang as the Chinese flag entered the stadium was performing to another girl’s voice.

The girl in the red dress with the pigtails, called Lin Miaoke, 9, and from a Beijing primary school, has become a national sensation since Friday night, giving interviews to all the most popular newspapers.

But the show’s musical designer felt forced to set the record straight. He gave an interview to Beijing radio saying the real singer was a seven-year-old girl who had won a gruelling competition to perform the anthem, a patriotic song called “Hymn to the Motherland”.

At the last moment a member of the Chinese politburo who was watching a rehearsal pronounced that the winner, a girl called Yang Peiyi, might have a perfect voice but was unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth.

This is a pretty despicable thing to do to a young girl, however, “officially”, she’s OK with it:

“I am proud to have been chosen to sing at all,” she is reported to have said.

It’s not like she could have said anything else, however.

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