[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/12/china.promises/art.beijing.stadium.gi.jpg caption="The National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, is shrouded in smog on opening day of the 2008 Olympics. "]
It's a historic event taking place on an international stage that's been seven years and $40 billion in the making. Opening ceremonies last week of the 2008 Olympic Summer Games were lauded as the most spectacular in history, with pyrotechnics blasting from the top of Beijing, China's National Stadium and a synchronized fireworks display firing off across the capital.
What has been mostly absent from Beijing, however, are protests. Although a unified China is the image that country's government is eager to portray, many human rights groups allege that China has orchestrated a massive cover-up.
Beyond human rights, questions remain about whether China has kept its promises to the world to improve in two other major areas of reform: freedom of the press and pollution cleanup.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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