I believe these Games have opened up the country. [...] the Chinese definitely have experienced that they cannot live in splendid isolation.
Ariana Eunjung Cha in the Washington Post, today (emphasis mine):
In response to international pressure, China said it would allow protests in three parks during the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Games. Earlier this week, the official New China News Service reported police had received 77 applications but none had been approved.
So China continues to ignore ineffectual "demands" for some recognition of basic rights, and their contempt for both their own people and the international community is more or less condoned by a media that refuses to make this front page news, and so is complicit in allowing it to happen. I mean, I had heard about these official protest zones when the Olympics opened, but I hadn't heard that not one person had actually been cleared to use them.
That said, I've also stopped being surprised that no one seems to notice or care.