The China Daily, the government-controlled English newspaper, is easily dismissed as a propaganda tool. But, on the eve of the opening ceremonies, it provides a window into the thinking of the country's rulers facing growing criticism over their commitment to individual human rights.
This morning, the front page features a picture of out-sized basketball star Yao Ming, carrying a torch underneath a portrait of Chairman Mao at the Forbidden City.
"Individual identities did not matter on a day of the collective," the article said. "There is no Ji or Jin, no Liu or Lucy."
The 7-foot, 6-inch Yao Ming "maybe a big sports star," said an accompanying article, but he is "the epitome of humility."