Sunday, January 07, 2007

PBS: China from the Inside

An excellent PBS mini-series will be aired Jan. 10 (?) entitled “China From the Inside”. Don’t miss it.

The documentary explores the factors that make China the pressure cooker that it is and takes a long look at the dominance of the Chinese Communist Party and religious oppression. Look here for a preview and check your local listing here .

Excerpt: The four one-hour episodes of China from the Inside are:

Episode 1: Power and the People

How does the Communist Party exert control over 1.3 billion Chinese? Are village elections a chance for people to take a share in power? Can the Party end the rampant corruption and keep the people's trust? Chinese people, from farmer to Minister, speak frankly about the problems the country faces and the ways forward.

Episode 2: Women of the Country

China's women are argued over at their weddings and have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Now many are beginning to fight for their rights and their futures. This hour shows discrimination against Xinjiang's Muslim women, various hardships faced by Tibetan women, and the status of some of those who have left the countryside for factory work in the cities.

Episode 3: Shifting Nature

China's environment is in trouble, but solutions often seem as harsh as the problems. A third of the world uses water from China's rivers, but rapid industrialization and climate change have led to bad air, polluted rivers and dire water shortages. One "solution" that has received considerable media attention in the West is the channeling of water in the biggest hydraulic project in world history. While it has benefited nearly half a million people, relocation from dam areas is causing mammoth social upheaval.

Episode 4: Freedom and Justice

Religious worship in China is problematic for Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics separated from Vatican influence, the 40 million adherents of China's unofficial churches, and the Falun Gong. Civic problems include forced evictions, government cover-up of AIDS, corruption and land grabbing. Filmed in Tibetan temples, newspaper offices and a labor camp, this final episode asks: what are the limits of freedom -- and the threats to stability? (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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