Half an earth, half an earth,
Half an earth onward,
All in the valley of Mao
Rode the 1.3 billion.
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
When can their glory fade?
O the wall they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the rail road they made,
Noble 1.3 billion.
- with apology to Alfred Tennyson.
For China, Olympics 2008 is not just another leap year games, but an exercise to showcase China in front of the world.
China has employed and trained 32,000 to 35,000 people across China, some of them farmers, who are paid $100 a month to handle anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers. They are not at war with anyone but the Chinese government believes launching shells containing silver iodide pellets, using more than 12,000 anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers in addition to about 30 planes, into clouds will curb rainfall and clear smog, ensuring clear skies for the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing, when the sky go abuzz with fireworks.
Known as cloud seeding, China is counting on its "Light Brigade" of farmers-turned-weather-gods to maintain favourable weather through out the games.
On the other hand, China has started building a new fenced road to Everest Base Camp to ease access for the planned Olympic torch relay over the summit of the world's highest peak next year. The road through China's Tibet region will be used as the main route for the Olympic torch relay to the 5,200-metre Base Camp and for the increasing number of tourists visiting the mountain. From there a special high-altitude torch will carry the Olympic flame to the 8,844-metre summit of Everest.
China will move plenty of earth in bid to make 2008 games, a display of people's power, a grand success.