Beijing wins 2008 Olympics

Click to follow

Beijing is to stage the 2008 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee today picked the Chinese capital despite criticism of the country's human rights record.

The ease of its victory surprised many observers. Beijing won 56 votes in the second round of a secret ballot by IOC members. It defeated Toronto (22), Paris (18) and Istanbul (nine). Osaka was eliminated in the first round of voting, with six votes.

IOC members say that the Olympics will help to open China to the world, improve human rights and speed social and economic reforms.