I spent a couple of days back in Beijing this week on business. The focus is now very much on the preparation for the 2008 Olympics with campaigns to get the locals to stop spitting, designating the 11th of each month queueing day in an attempt to encourage the locals to line up in an orderly fashion, and various plans to curb the city's pretty awful smog including banning cars for two or three weeks before and during the Olympics. This would have the added benefit of saving the lives of hundreds of tourists who might otherwise be run down at traffic signals in the mistaken belief that Chinese drivers will actually stop at red lights!
According to my local contacts the smog is actually much better than it was a few years ago, mostly because factories have been moved out of the city and from my own observation the spitting problem is largely under control. But as for the queuing, something that looks remotely like a line rather than entirely like a rugby scrum seems the best that can be hoped for!