The Big-Cat was telling me when he got home that one of his fondest memories about Beijing will be how friendly the people of China were; from the doormen at the hotels, to the shopkeers, to the people in the street, to the volunteers at the events.
Everyone was so proud of their country...what they have achieved economicaly in such a short period of time, what they have achieved culturally over their country's history, and what they have achieved in the medal count at the 2008 Olympics.
As my friend Mika said in her blog on Aug 14th (http://www.mika-ryan.blogspot.com/), the Chinese people are not 'brainwashed' and honestly don't unerstand why the world sees them in a bad light. All the average person in Beijing wants is to have a better life for their children plus health, wealth, and happiness for themselves, their friends, and their families.
No matter what you may feel about the Chinese government and it's internal or foreign policies, don't lose track of the fact that the average person on the street in Beijing is very much like the average person in Vancouver. They want to have nice things, they want to eat good food, they want to drink clean water, they like spending time with their friends, and they want to fall in love.
To paraphrase Sting:
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us me and you
Is that the Chinese love their children too