China's Winter Games success may herald colder ties with the West

The China of the 2008 Summer Games has been replaced by a China more willing to go its own way, making the latest Olympics’ goal of a shared future together less likely.

Fireworks at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. PHOTO: REUTERS
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When Chinese President Xi Jinping made a personal pitch for the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing back in 2015, he promised the world a "fantastic, extraordinary and excellent" Games.

It turned out to be a rather more subdued affair than pledged, dampened by the Covid-19 pandemic that meant largely empty spectator stands and the strict separation of participants from the city's denizens, and overshadowed by the prospect of war in Ukraine.

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