Thursday, February 03, 2011

BBC World Service Documentaries: China -- Shaking the World

China: Shaking the World.
BBC World Service Documentaries

"China," Napoleon is believed to have once said, "is a sleeping giant. When she awakes, she will shake the world."

China endured decades of occupation, division and international isolation since that 19th century warning. When it finally opened to the rest of the world, foreign money and expertise flooded in.

Now - little more than a generation later - China is poised to overtake Japan to become the world's second largest economy. Its unprecedented growth in exports has left it holding more foreign currency than any other nation - financial power which China is beginning to use to challenge the US dollar's long-standing dominance as the medium of international trade.

This documentary series examines the political, economic and cultural mechanisms of China's growing global influence. Michael Robinson, who documented China's awakening for the BBC almost 20 years ago, returns to assess the prospects and problems of the unrelenting shift of power from West to East.

Part One explores China's massive internal infrastructure transformation.

Part Two looks at the potentially world-shaking clash of cultures between non-democratic, state-planned China and the American-centred world of democracy and free market ideology.

Part Three looks at the social tensions within China that threaten the growth upon which much of the rest of the world now relies.

Part Four asks whether the political model which has delivered China's fantastic economic growth over the last 30 years is the same model that will deliver growth over the next 30 years.

To Listen to the Documentaries

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