- 8 Aug 08, 01:29 PM
Yunnan Province is a far-flung corner of China, its south west tip. It's thousands of kms from Beijing and it feels it, with its lush tropical climate and large proportion of ethnic minorities.
But everyone I've talked to here in the provincial capital, Kunming, is excited about the Olympic Games.
Everyone is watching the opening ceremony, either gathered round TV sets at home with friends or at public TV screenings in hotels, bars or outdoor squares.
Why do they care?
They see the Games as a key part of China's dramatic economic growth and continuing engagement with the outside world. Yunnan, an inland province, is lagging far behind the rest of China. Here the main industries are tea, tobacco, mining and tourism, not manufacturing or services. But even so, some wealth is trickling down.
Kunming doesn't have the glitz, wealth and cosmopolitan living of a city like Shanghai but it's been transformed by new buildings in the last decade - and today there's construction everywhere.
The Olympic Games may be a long way away but, as they watch them from Yunnan, people here are hopeful. Hopeful the Games will lead to more foreign investment and more tourism - and help them get as rich as the rest of China.
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