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Where What's Old Is New Again

China's capital is a city of extremes, physically exhausting and intimidating for its sheer sprawl and harsh climate, yet exhilarating and charming for its...

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And what happens after the Olympics? Economists debate whether the capital overextended itself with the building boom and massive expansion of housing, office and retail space. It's been well-documented that cities hosting Olympic Games tend to suffer mild recessions afterward, but many believe Beijing — given China's fast economic growth — will weather those storms.

Still, some skepticism remains. Li Fei, marketing professor at Tsinghua University, noted a large portion of malls and shopping centers in Beijing are already struggling for customers. "After the Olympics, problems will unfold since the number of customers will be reduced," said Li. "This will require the shopping centers to make changes in the way they do business in order to survive."

But the new, more modern Beijing, chock-full of restaurants, clubs, galleries and a downright shocking
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