China in the Red
Written, Produced and Directed by Sue Williams
Co-Produced by Kathryn Dietz
Edited by Howard Sharp
ANNOUNCER: In China, 1998 was a
year of enormous change and uncertainty. The most drastic
economic reforms in nearly half a century were upending the lives
of millions. That year, FRONTLINE began filming families
across the country.
ANNOUNCER: For four years we
followed their lives, their fears and their dreams. For some,
it was a time of opportunity.
TIAN XIAO-WEI: Now
you can do anything, as long as you make money.
ANNOUNCER: For many, it was a
time of desperation.
With so little money, it's hopeless. I can't talk about
TAXI DRIVER: My
brother's laid off. My sister-in-law is also laid off.
My sister and her husband are laid off.
ANNOUNCER: No one we filmed-in
the government or on the street-knew how things would turn out.
WU JING-LIAN: The
chances of success are 50-50. If the reforms don't succeed,
China's social stability will not be maintained.
ANNOUNCER: This is the story of
the human cost of China's reforms. It is the story of a China
rarely seen in the West: of a nation trying to redefine itself and
of ordinary people living in extraordinary times.
NARRATOR: At the center of the
reforms that swept China at the end of the 20th century were
thousands of state-owned companies, like the Beijing Machine Tool
Plant. Controlled by the government, factories like this
formed the heart of both the communist economy and millions of
workers' lives. Feng Hui-xiu has worked here all her
FENG HUI-XIU: I am a real
Beijinger. I started at the plant almost 28 years ago.
I went from primary school to high school, and with my book bag I
went straight into Number One Machine Tool Plant. Back then,
the plant was famous. When people heard I was assigned here,
they said, "You're so lucky."
NARRATOR: In the factory's
heyday, 9,000 people worked here. They earned minimum wages,
but the plant took care of all their needs and they were guaranteed
a job for life.
FENG HUI-XIU: It was the Iron
Rice Bowl, everyone working together. A bowl for you, a bowl
for me. A dollar for you, a dollar for me. There was
nothing to worry about. You just had to do your job.
NARRATOR: But by 1998, this
plant and thousands more across the country had fallen deeply into
debt. There was no demand for their products, and the workers
had little to do.
WU JING-LIAN, Government
Economist: Because state companies had such large debts,
they started to rely on government money. From the mid-1980s
to the early '90s, they depended on the banks. By the early
'90s, the banks had so many bad debts, they themselves didn't have
NARRATOR: By 1998, the crisis
in the state sector threatened the entire economy and forced the
government to act. In March, Premier Zhu Rong-ji addressed
Premier ZHU RONG-JI:
[subtitles] We have decided that in three years, most
large and medium state-owned companies must get out of their
current financial difficulties and establish modern corporate
systems. This must be accomplished in three years.
NARRATOR: All state companies,
the premier insisted, had to become modern, profitable corporations
in just three years.
NARRATOR: Around the country,
more than 110 million workers know their jobs and their benefits
are on the line. At the Beijing Machine Tool Plant, feelings
are running high.
FENG HUI-XIU: People are
mad. It feels like someone will murder the manager.
NARRATOR: As the manager's
assistant, Feng Hui-xiu often bears the brunt of workers' rage.
FENG HUI-XIU: Say some worker
wants to complain. Of course, he's all fired up, and who does
he ask for first? He comes to the manager's office.
When the manager is nowhere to be found, he vents his anger on
us. There have been so many cases like this-people sprawled
all over the office, pouring their hearts out, threatening us with
cleavers. And in the end, we tell them it's because they
don't have the skills. So no matter how hard they cry, it's
NARRATOR: When workers are laid
off, they lose more than their jobs. Their health care and
pensions disappear, too. The government knows it has to help
them. City officials visit the plant to explain how a social
security system will eventually work. But for now, outside
the factory there is no social safety net.
At 44, Feng is scared.
FENG HUI-XIU: I know my
limitations. No matter what others might say, in the job
market I'm already considered too old to be the manager's
NARRATOR: In the coming months,
Feng will worry every day about losing her job.
At the western edge of the city, behind a
traditional Chinese gate, lies Capital Iron and Steel. Once a
centerpiece of the communist economy, it still employs more than
100,000 people. It is also plagued with debt and production
setbacks. As a production manager, Wang Hao-ren is under
WANG HAO-REN: The company has
ordered our plant to lay off workers. To lay guys off for no
NARRATOR: Wang knows his
performance is being evaluated, too.
WANG HAO-REN: I have been
feeling pressure at work. But I've only had fleeting thoughts
about doing other things because I have to be realistic. At
19, I got a certificate in steel-making. I've been working in
this field for 15 years. It is my specialty. What could
I do if I left Capital Steel? It really gives me a
NARRATOR: For better or worse,
almost every aspect of Wang's life is bound to Capital Steel.
He is married with a small daughter, but the family can't live
together because his factory-assigned apartment is too small.
WANG HAO-REN: Everyday after
work, I come by.
TRANSLATOR: Every day, he comes
for dinner and helps her wash up.
WANG HAO-REN: Give the child a
bath and wait till they go to bed. Then at 9:00, I take the
subway home. It's very close by.
NARRATOR: More than anything,
Wang wants to live with his family. And that, he believes,
will only happen if he stays at Capital Steel. The plant has
promised to sell him a larger apartment at a low insider
price. He just hopes he won't lose his job before he gets the
But if Wang Hao-ren is laid off, he at least
has a chance of finding another job. Here in the capital,
there is a flourishing private sector. Small shops and
businesses are springing up all over town. Foreign companies
Outside of Beijing the situation is much
tougher. In northern industrial cities like Shenyang, 85
percent of the economy is state-run. There is nowhere to look
for work. Here workers, once the proud elite of the communist
state, scramble to survive. Local authorities forbid filming
the unemployed who cluster on street corners, and accurate
assessments of their numbers are hard to come by. Some
experts, however, estimate that this city of 8 million has 1.3
million people out of work.
The mayor of Shenyang is Mu Sui-xin.
The Communist Party appointed him just one year ago. Now, in
the fall of 1998, he has one of the toughest jobs in the
MU SUI-XIN, Mayor, Shenyang: We
have to change the way people think. Under the planned
economy, workers' and officials' lives were managed from cradle to
grave by the government. In the market economy, you're
responsible for yourself. This is a historic change.
NARRATOR: The Shenyang Machine
Tool Corporation is one of the city's largest employers. As
with all state companies, it is run by party members like Yao
YAO JUN-XI: Under the planned
economy, we were assigned workers whether we needed them or
not. Our numbers rose from 4,000, 5,000, all the way to
10,000. If we don't get rid of our surplus employees, we
won't be able to move forward with the reforms.
NARRATOR: Zhang Shu-yan tracks
supplies in the stockroom.
ZHANG SHU-YAN: Before reform
and opening, the main jobs were workers, peasants, soldiers.
I've never been to the countryside, so I couldn't be a
peasant. All I could be is a worker. My father used to
work here. So after graduating, I was assigned to be work in
the greenhouse. Twenty women worked there, and I was in
charge. But because of the reforms, they closed the
greenhouse. Then I was transferred to this warehouse job.
Before the reforms, it was different.
I could do the work or not do the work. If I wanted to do it,
I did it. If I didn't want to do, I didn't.
NARRATOR: Now Zhang Shu-yan
finds herself in a completely new work environment.
ZHANG SHU-YAN: Every year,
things keep changing. If you don't adjust, you get left
behind. You have to think positively. You could lose
your job altogether.
NARRATOR: At the plant, party
officials meet with workers to try to persuade them to leave
voluntarily. Zhang Shu-yan is terrified to find herself here
and doesn't dare speak. Everyone is uncomfortable.
1st WOMAN: I've been
working here for over 21 years. I think I've made a real
contribution. I've had a hard time understanding being laid
off. I've worked here for so many years, and I feel I've done
a really good job.
1st PARTY OFFICIAL: I
know that it would be difficult for your personal lives, for your
families. We are worried whether you have the strength to
2nd PARTY OFFICIAL: When
you're laid off, we would see if we could find another job that
FU XUE-REN: I have been
at the factory for over 30 years. I don't understand about
being laid off. I feel like I haven't made mistakes in my
work. I have to have a job so I can contribute to the
company. I have to have a job.
2nd PARTY OFFICIAL: Some
people are waiting to find a new job. But even though they
haven't found work, they say, "What's good for the factory is good
for everyone." They say, "If the factory is doing well, then
I'm happy, even if it means I'm sacrificed." Everyone has
their own problems, right? Tell us your difficulties.
Tell us your situation.
ZHANG SHU-YAN: I think
I'm a special case here because my husband is sick. I had a
really hard time dealing with my transfer. I am very grateful
that the factory kept me. Every day, I'm really doing my best
at work. I'm grateful to the factory for its trust in
me. I'll do my best, so the factory can do better and we can
2nd PARTY OFFICIAL: It's
really not easy. If you have any difficulties, you can come
talk to us.
ZHANG SHU-YAN: Originally, my
husband worked at an engine factory. Then he was laid
off. He didn't work for a number of years. He stayed at
home because he had high blood pressure. Then all of sudden,
last March, he had a stroke. I was so shocked. I
couldn't understand how this could happen when he was still so
young. And his factory doesn't give us a cent.
As a wife, do I abandon him? I
can't. Every month, I earn so little money and I have to pay
for my daughter's schooling. With so little money, it's
hopeless. I can't talk about this. It's too
painful. As for my daughter, with a dad not functioning
anymore, if she didn't have a mother, it would be even harder for
her. I must be strong for the whole family.
NARRATOR: Until recently, Fu
Xue-ren was an office worker who wrote posters and notices for the
WIFE: You haven't been
laid off yet, right?
FU XUE-REN: I'm waiting
for a new position.
NARRATOR: Now his pay has been
cut, and he has been given three months notice.
FU XUE-REN: After three months,
if you still haven't found a job at the plant, then your work unit
is no longer responsible for you.
WIFE: It's no longer
responsible for you.
FU XUE-REN: And you go to a
re-employment center. They assign you two job
opportunities. If you're not willing to take either job, then
forget about it. You won't get another chance.
WIFE: The whole time he was at
the plant, he only did office work. He doesn't know anything
about business. He's not physically strong, and he doesn't
have many skills. He's bringing home less than $37.
It's very stressful.
NARRATOR: What Fu Xue-ren fears
most is ending up adrift and penniless in one of Shenyang's vast
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: Of course,
all those workers don't like being laid off. With so many
laid off from the state companies, there are no jobs for
them. We estimate that 450,000 people will be laid off this
year. Where are they going to find work?
NARRATOR: The communist
government started on its road to a market economy not in the
cities but in China's vast countryside. More than half of the
nation's 1.3 billion people still live in rural areas. Here,
nearly 20 years ago, communes were abandoned, and peasants were
encouraged to raise and sell their own crops.
In Chestnut Flower Village, the policies
transformed Tian Xiao-wei's life.
TIAN XIAO-WEI: My whole life,
I've been a good-for-nothing woman, good for nothing. My
father had a bad class background. My family was poor.
My mother died when I was 2. Many people in the village
looked down on us. Since the reforms and opening, there have
been many changes. Now you can do anything and no one will be
against you, as long as you make money, and the government loves
I started the noodle shop to pay for my
children to go to school. I can't read a word, so I supported
my children to go. It'll help them get ahead. It's the
'90s now. I really don't want my kids to do heavy, dirty
work, the kind of work that makes you sweat all over. So I do
NARRATOR: Tian Xiao-wei also
grows vegetables and raises pigs. She earns about 10,000
yuan, or $1,200 a year, making her one of the richest people in the
village. She has put her daughters through school and helped
them move to the city. She has built a large house. And
she has done it alone.
TIAN XIAO-WEI: My husband is a
lazy man. He's the village chief and works for the
villagers. I let him do his work. But even after he
finishes, he doesn't help me unless I ask him. Maybe the way
I'm talking about him is not very respectful, but what can I
say? That's the way he is.
NARRATOR: Just a few doors
away, Hong Huan-zhen and her family are slipping into poverty.
INTERVIEWER: How much do you make a
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: We earn about
$500 a year. It's really hard work, also, because I'm
NARRATOR: Hong has a thyroid
condition that is easy to control, but paying for treatment is
not. The socialist health system, which provided peasants
with basic medical care, vanished with the reforms. Hong pays
about $250 a year, half their annual income, for medical care.
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: We have to
gradually save up, selling vegetables, to pay for this.
NARRATOR: Hong's husband works
outside the village, picking up construction jobs whenever he
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: He eats
breakfast and goes out early in the morning and won't get home
until dark. I stay in the house, preparing meals and feeding
NARRATOR: They have a young son
who is mentally retarded and also needs expensive medical
care. Hong's hopes rest on her 14-year-old daughter, who is
in junior high school.
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: I hope she'll
go out into the world and learn something and learn what is going
on in the world. If she stays in the village, she won't learn
anything and she'll never get ahead. It's mainly because of
my illness that our life's not good. Many people are better
off. We want to catch up with the others and live a better
life, too. I am unhappy. I feel sick and unhappy.
[www.pbs.org: Chronology of China's
NARRATOR: In villages across
the country, the economic changes mean peasants are in business for
themselves. At dawn in Guo Village, farmers are leaving for
market. Guo Xin-min and his wife, Xiu Yun, sell their produce
in town three times a week.
INTERVIEWER: Did you sell
XIU YUN: Sold out. Sold
INTERVIEWER: What were your
total sales today?
XIU YUN: I haven't counted
GUO XIN-MIN: How can you not
XIU YUN: Over $6.00. We
sold over $6.00.
INTERVIEWER: Who comes more
XIU YUN: I do.
GUO XIN-MIN: She sells more
than I do.
INTERVIEWER: How much did you
earn last year?
GUO XIN-MIN: Last year?
XIU YUN: Better not to ask.
GUO XIN-MIN: It's hard to
XIU YUN: It's hard to calculate
income. It's not high, it's not low. It's in
between. This year, vegetable prices aren't good. Even
though we're growing the same vegetables, we're making less
money. At night, when we're picking vegetables, we think we
can sell them for 10 cents a pound. But then we always worry
that when we get to the market, we won't be able to sell them at
NARRATOR: The Guo family has
lived in this village for so many generations, it bears their
name. But the couple is determined that their son will not
lead the same hard life on the land.
XIU YUN: Everyone wants their
children to leave. No one wants to stay home and work.
NARRATOR: But 15-year old
Xiao-lei is an unenthusiastic student.
XIU YUN: He wants to get a job
in a bank. So I say, "But how can you make it if you don't do
well at school?" We often tease him. He has very high
expectations. If you aren't well educated, no matter where
you go, it won't work out.
KANG XIAO-GUANG, Professor of Public
Policy, Qinghua Univ.: Peasants can now clearly feel the
huge gap between countryside and city. Of course, they don't
have the language to express it. They don't have access to
the media. They don't write books. So they use their
legs to express themselves. Every year, 80 million or 50
million-it's hard to say, but at the very least, tens of millions
float to the cities.
NARRATOR: For peasants,
surviving in the city is tough. Fortunate ones work 80 hours
a week in foreign-owned sweatshops. They earn subsistence
wages making goods for the booming export market. Others live
precariously, competing against laid-off workers for whatever jobs
they can find.
Creating jobs is key to the success of the
reforms. The government is plowing money into huge
construction projects. In big cities like Beijing, Shanghai,
Guangzhou, a building boom is throwing up office blocks, apartments
and highways. A new middle class is emerging. Some are
making more money than they ever dreamed.
[www.pbs.org: More about the music in
Businessmen like Zhang Wu in Beijing are
role models for the reforms. He, his wife and son still share
a small apartment with his in-laws, but he has ambitious
plans. A few years ago, Zhang Wu quit his job at a state
packaging company and set up his own design firm.
ZHANG WU: With the economic
reforms, every company wants ways to survive, to grow, to change
their image. That's where we come in, as their corporate
image consultants, producing an overall package, from small details
such as business cards to a comprehensive advertising
campaign. Recently, our main client has been China's largest
NARRATOR: Beijing Armstrong
employs nearly one hundred people. Zhang Wu is teaching his
young team new standards: to meet deadlines and use their
ZHANG WU: Our company doesn't
work like other companies. A lot of people see that I am
always with my employees, working till 1:00 or 2:00 or 3:00 or 4:00
in the morning. I have to contribute more, to do more than
the others. That way, I can set a good example for the
rest. And with time, it becomes an ethic, a company work
ethic that people are used to. So things like overtime are
pretty normal in our company.
I have big ambitions. I want to do
everything. I have no time to rest.
NARRATOR: Zhang Wu routinely
works 14-hour days, but this afternoon he is taking time off to
visit his mother.
ZHANG WU: Recently, my mother
got cancer. I'm worried that she is dying. My mother
knows that she can't recover.
INTERVIEWER: Will this be the
last time you see her?
ZHANG WU: Yes, it might be the
last time. It might be.
ZHANG WU: Take them when
you're in pain. One a day, OK?
NARRATOR: Zhang Wu is paying
for his mother's medical care because her work unit is not.
He can easily afford it, but the situation leaves her feeling
MOTHER: In the early days, I
believed in the Communist Party, but now I'm confused. I'm
very sad because I worked all my life. Then I got this
disease. My work unit is no good and won't reimburse my
ZHANG WU: She worked in the
Medical Administration Bureau.
MOTHER: Now they don't give me
a penny for medical care.
ZHANG WU: The bureau was a
government work unit, but they didn't know how to do
business. They used to be a good unit and had a lot of money,
but then they went into real estate and lost it all.
NARRATOR: At the end of the
first year of the reforms in the state sector, most Chinese are not
doing as well as Zhang Wu. The steady disintegration of the
Iron Rice Bowl has left millions living on the edge.
Inside the government, some fear the harsh
costs of the reforms will threaten Party rule. Reformers are
fighting to stay the course.
WU JING-LIAN, Government
Economist: Some leaders think reform and opening should
be slowed down a bit, that the slower you go, the fewer the shocks
from outside. But you can't escape globalization. China
can't isolate itself. If it isolates itself, it will be the
same as before the reforms-very backward. Neither the Chinese
leaders nor the Chinese people are willing to return to the era
when our country was cut off from the world.
NARRATOR: This year, the
Chinese Communist Party will celebrate its 50th year in
power. Beijing is being spruced up. Workers are
cleaning Tiananmen Square for the festivities.
Behind the makeover, the government is
struggling to contain the crisis in the state sector. Twenty
five million workers have already been laid off. But
factories are still hemorrhaging so much money that some say it
would be cheaper to close them all down and keep paying the
KANG XIAO-GUANG, Professor of Public
Policy, Qinghua University: The state companies affect
the economic well-being of the whole country. To use a
Chinese metaphor, let's suppose you have a large, poor
family. The eldest son is a drug addict. The parents
love him and want to indulge him. They will take his
siblings' money and give it to him to support his habit. The
end result? The whole family suffers.
Since the beginning, the state has been
lending money to try to save a dying man without truly addressing
WU JING-LIAN: The very
foundation of the state owned system is sick, and it won't be
resolved by giving them more loans or more guidance. Both the
Chinese government and economists know the problem has to be
resolved this year.
NARRATOR: For Feng Hui-Xiu,
work at the Beijing Machine Tool Plant is even more tense.
FENG HUI-XIU: In the past eight
months, the management has changed twice. I haven't been this
worried in years.
NARRATOR: She's worried about
her family, as well. Her husband seems likely to lose his job
at a failing chemical company. Relations with their 16-year
old son, Gu Feng, are strained.
FENG HUI-XIU: A generation ago,
before the reform movement, there was a 5,000-year-old cultural
belief that a son must respect his parents. But things are so
different with my son.
GU FENG: I saw a television
program once about their generation. In their time, people
just got up early to go to work and came home after to eat and
sleep. Their lives were very dull and boring. Now, at
school, through the newspapers and radio, we have access to new
things and information.
NARRATOR: Like most of his
friends, Gu Feng watches NBA games on satellite TV. He
listens to Western rock music. Feng is dismayed at her son's
lack of discipline and his eager materialism.
FENG HUI-XIU: The worst fight
we had was during school break. School was about to start,
and he hadn't done his homework yet. I found out and got
really angry. He still wanted me to buy him a new pair of
designer jeans. And he tore up his assignment notes. I
was so angry, I hit him. We had a huge fight. It made
him so upset, and it really taught me a lot. I wouldn't buy
him the jeans, and in the end, he saved up and spent I don't know
how much on them.
GU FENG: Their generation lived
through the Cultural Revolution. They "ate bitterness."
They went through a lot, while we've been spoiled growing up.
FENG HUI-XIU: My son often says
I'm foolish. I never left Number One Machine Tool
Plant. Why don't I want to leave the plant?
Realistically, I need the money because my son is still a
student. If I left and worked for a private employer, I
wouldn't have a steady income.
NARRATOR: In a desperate effort
to keep her job, Feng is trying to upgrade her skills.
FENG HUI-XIU: I am studying
accounting. But I'm not young anymore, and it's so hard to
study at my age.
NARRATOR: In Shenyang, nearly
half a million people have been laid off. Local officials
work hard to prevent us from interviewing anyone without a
job. But people are eager to talk, as long as we hide their
1st MAN: My brother is laid
off. My sister-in-law's also laid off. My sister, my
youngest sister, and her husband are laid off. My middle
brother-in-law is laid off, and my middle sister is laid off.
My oldest sister is laid off, while her husband is not. My
parents are retired. You tell me how much money my family
2nd MAN: People in the
northeast don't get a penny when they're laid off.
Nothing. They're told they will, but they don't.
NARRATOR: The unemployed are
fending for themselves as best they can. Some become street
vendors or shine shoes. They compete for odd jobs. They
take to the streets. Demonstrations by laid-off workers and
pensioners, which the media are not allowed to film, are an almost
daily event in Shenyang. And they are breaking out in cities
around the country.
Mayor Mu is trying to keep the lid on an
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: For now, in
Shenyang we try to reason with protesters. They just want the
government to solve their problems because their factories haven't
been paying their pensions on time.
NARRATOR: The mayor is gaining
a reputation as one of the party's most active and aggressive
leaders, and he performs well for the media. With no
precedents to follow, he improvises as best he can. He's set
up a hotline where people can find help. It is overwhelmed
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: [to
hotline staff] I propose that within a week, you do
whatever is necessary to let more than 80 percent of the calls come
through. Can you do it?
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: If you
need to add people, add people. If you need to add equipment,
add equipment. It has to be done quickly. You guys are
slow. There is no problem we can't solve. Within a
week. Today is Wednesday. I want it to be done before
next Wednesday. I'm going to come back and see how hard
you've worked. The quicker, the better.
NARRATOR: Mayor Mu dashes from
one meeting to another, trying to solve problems, encouraging
people to take responsibility, seeming to will the city out of its
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: The
Forging Plant owes you around $60,000. You are all so
narrow-minded. For a mere 60,000, you let the issue go on for
10 years, right? It's still not solved, and neither side
wants to settle.
How about this? It looks like
this factory definitely can't pay you back, right? And I'm
afraid you can't expect the district to take care of it,
either. By taking on this factory, the city has already
inherited a burden, and now you're asking them to take over your
debt. Of course, they won't agree. [nervous
What should we do? Well, let
the two parties take care of it together. The city can chip
in a little bit, and you can chip in a little bit. And then
you can negotiate with the bank. We'll see if it's
possible. It'll be good enough to pay back the
principal. The situation is already so messy, right?
NARRATOR: Later, the mayor
meets with private businessmen to see how the city can help
them. His position gives him extraordinary power, and he
doesn't hesitate to use it.
DONGYU MANAGER: Many of
our divisions are growing very fast these days. For example,
Dongyu Electric plans to earn more than $20 million this
year. We don't have enough operating capital to support all
the divisions. So we want to ask the city government if we
can be supported with a short-term $5 million bond. A
DONGYU MANAGER: A loan
is fine, as well. We're talking with the bank right
now. However, it takes a long time these days to secure a
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: In
cases when security can be guaranteed, we can issue a bond.
Think about this carefully. If you can guarantee that within
the short term-is it a year?
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: Within
a year, can you pay it back?
NARRATOR: Wherever he goes,
people seem genuinely pleased to see Mayor Mu. At the end of
a long day, he returns to city hall for yet another meeting.
His day will not end until nearly midnight.
At the Shenyang Machine Tool Corporation,
managing director Yao Jun-xi has new hopes for the company.
The World Bank has given them a major loan.
YAO JUN-XI: With the World Bank
loan, we will buy the sophisticated equipment from abroad that we
need to set up a new machine tool production line. Next time
you visit the plant, you will see people using a lot of new
equipment. I am very grateful to the World Bank. They
have also given us $10 million to relocate workers. We will
use it to make job opportunities for them.
NARRATOR: Tonight is Moon
Festival. People want to forget the grim reality surrounding
them. To boost morale, the government is pouring money into
making Shenyang more attractive. Mayor Mu seems convinced the
city is going to make it.
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: There is an
expression, "It doesn't matter how thin a camel is, it is still a
camel." This is still an industrial city, with decades of
economic strength behind it. It has enormous industrial
capital. This city is going to solve these problems.
We're going to be the best!
[rap song on the radio]
[subtitles] No more Iron Rice Bowl like my
father's. I don't want to be fussed over like the kids
today. We haven't had it bad. We haven't had it
good. So they call us a generation of slackers.
NARRATOR: As the reforms
continue to reshape Chinese society, some young people are choosing
to opt out. They scoff at the old Communist system and the
money-driven world replacing it. Nie Zheng is a 32- year old
photographer, immersed in Beijing's music scene.
NIE ZHENG: Rock-and-roll is
very revolutionary. Even in the West, Bruce Springsteen is
also very revolutionary. Sting and U2 are
revolutionary. Rock-and-roll, it's about what you want to
say, what you want to do and what you want to admit to. It
liberates you. It opens up your pores.
NARRATOR: Nie's passion is work
that doesn't pay, making portraits of ordinary people.
NIE ZHENG: Many of my friends
are making money. They are buying houses, cars. But I
think life is simpler because there is no end to making money, but
there is an end to living and life.
NARRATOR: He still lives with
his parents, who are senior party officials. They see his
love of photography as self-indulgent, and they disapprove of his
laid-back lifestyle on the fringes of Beijing society.
NIE ZHENG: There's a lot of
fighting at home, but I'm always trying to defuse this anger.
I don't want it to be this way because home should be a place where
people can be themselves. My parents are always telling me,
"You're not stable." And I wonder, what does stable
mean? Getting a monthly salary-that's one kind of stability,
isn't it? But are your heart and mind stable? All I can
say is that I just want take my time doing the things I want to
do-take good photographs, one frame at a time.
[www.pbs.org: See more of Nie Zheng's
These are such good times. Downtown, people rush to the
future. They're drunk, laughing, singing, and still
complaining. They've been dreaming of the good life for many
years now. So I put out my hand and make you look at my
NARRATOR: By the summer of 2000
the gap between rich and poor is growing fast. On the edges
of big cities, some are living in poverty that was unimaginable
just a few years ago. Across the country, five million more
people have lost their jobs.
NARRATOR: In Beijing, life is
changing dramatically for Feng Hui-xiu. Last year, she was
still trying to hang onto her job at the Number 1 Machine Tool
Plant. Then her husband left his job and put all their
savings into starting a private garage. Then Gu Feng failed
the college entrance exams.
FENG HUI-XIU: Things between
the three of us were very tense. My husband was angry.
Based on our son's I.Q. and good background, he should not have
NARRATOR: Soon after, the
government offered retirement packages to older workers in heavy
industry. Feng was eligible for a pension of almost $100 a
month, 80 percent of her regular salary.
FENG HUI-XIU: I felt very
conflicted. If I stayed at work, it would get even
busier. I wouldn't even be around to make my son
dinner. But if I retired, he might be a little better
off. I could bear some of his burden. Once I decided
that, I went to the plant director for an application. It was
very quick. And in October, I stopped going to work.
NARRATOR: Feng immediately
borrowed $800 to pay for Gu Feng to repeat his courses. Since
then, she has stayed home to help him study.
GU FENG: I don't feel anything
about the college entrance exam. When I'm in the exam hall, I
just feel kind of numb. I don't feel anything else. All
I do is study. I don't think of anything else.
FENG HUI-XIU: I told him it's
up to him to seize the opportunity. It really shook him that
I gave up such a good job for his sake. All of a sudden, he
pulled himself together.
NARRATOR: The college entrance
exams are a major event in China. In today's economy, people
see a degree as essential. Waiting to take the exam, some are
so tense they need oxygen.
After the exams, time hangs heavily for Feng
Hui-xiu. Family finances are tight, and she needs to get a
job. But she feels she can't until she knows if Gu Feng has
passed. The family will spend the rest of the summer
anxiously awaiting the results.
At the western end of Beijing, there hasn't
been much improvement at Capital Iron and Steel. Two years
into the reforms, it is still mired in debt and riddled with
KANG XIAO-GUANG, School of Public Policy,
Qinghua University: We give more than $12 billion every
year to dying companies to help them recover a little. But
it's a bottomless pit. The money can't save them. It
just gets squandered by government officials, banks and factory
managers. Workers don't get paid, and the company goes
WU JING-LIAN, Government
Economist: Managers of some state-owned companies have
done terrible things to ordinary workers. For instance, in
some places, they sold the company to the friends and relatives of
officials. In other places, they were even greedier and made
the workers pay to keep their jobs.
KANG XIAO-GUANG: There are
almost no restrictions on them. Even worse, in some places,
the government is their partner. They all share in the
spoils. Workers can't stop them. The media can't report
it. The law is null and void. There is no
auditing. The banks are also in collusion with the
management. Basically, they can do whatever they want with
NARRATOR: Many say that
official corruption is the worst in China's modern history.
Some people are angry. Some are resigned. For Wang
Hao-ren at Capital Steel, corruption is a fact of life.
WANG HAO-REN: To get anything
done, you have to spend money. For example, our workshop
decides whether or not to renew a worker's contract. We take
into account factors like their age, abilities, performance to
decide. But some workers think, "If I give the boss some
gifts, then maybe he will keep me on." Many workers think
this. But I think that if you take bribes, it's hard to say
no. If you want to be fair, you can't do it.
NARRATOR: Wang is
disillusioned, but he is pleased he is still at Capital
Steel. The biggest benefit of his job, a new apartment, has
finally come through. He has happily spent his life's savings
WANG HAO-REN: I bought this
apartment from Capital Steel at a preferential price. In all,
we spent nearly $5,500. They assign the apartment according
to your contribution, position and length of service. The
apartment is 600 square feet. That's not bad. We spent
$3,500 to get a decorating company to design the interior because
since we got married, we'd never lived together. So this
time, I put a little money into decorating, so my wife and child
could live in a more beautiful, comfortable place.
My daughter is growing. She's
learning. And I think she's very cute. When I see her
smile, I forget my work and the stress of life. She brings me
a lot of joy.
NARRATOR: Businessman Zhang Wu
seems to thrive on stress, and he maneuvers skillfully through the
tangles of corruption at work.
ZHANG WU: Of course, my company
has met with corruption. It is impossible to avoid in normal
daily business dealings, where people help each other and favors
are exchanged. Our company does this quite a bit-treating
clients to meals, giving little gifts, et cetera. But we
haven't gone to the point of giving money. That hasn't
happened because our business is in the service sector. We
don't have production lines or build tall buildings. We're
not in that kind of business.
NARRATOR: In the last year,
Zhang Wu moved his firm into a prestigious Beijing address, and he
has moved his family into a penthouse in a luxury compound.
ZHANG WU: In the past, people
never imagined such a high standard of living. My father and
mother had different values. They had never seen good
housing. If they had a bed and place to eat, that was
enough. This is pretty comfortable, but my next apartment
will be even more comfortable. When it comes to housing, my
ambitions are boundless. As long as you have money, you can
NARRATOR: After his mother
died, Zhang and his wife decided to have a second child in her
ZHANG WU: The Chinese national
policy is a one-child policy. The fewer children, the
better. China has too many people. But when you step
back and look at the big picture, because the Chinese population is
so large, most of it is of low quality. I estimate that those
of superior quality make up only 15, maybe 20 percent of the
population. Given our family's culture and values, I think
that, despite that national policy, having one more child shouldn't
be a problem. It can only benefit, not harm China. And
it can only benefit, not harm me personally.
Until a few years ago, births were
controlled very strictly. Since last year, it's easier to get
a birth certificate when you have a child. You need some good
connections, some money, to make some donations. You can give
to hospitals, different social institutions. All that makes
getting the registration easier. If you give money, the state
becomes more amenable.
NARRATOR: In Shenyang, a huge
corruption scandal is rocking the city. It began when police
arrested a local official, who was also head of the city's most
notorious criminal gang. Now rumors are swirling around city
hall and Mayor Mu.
MAN: People on the street say
Mu is like the boss of the underworld. He's rough. He
doesn't pay attention to details. And he does whatever comes
into his head and does it with great determination. But
realistically, in a place like Shenyang, you can't get much done
without that sort of resolve and determination.
NARRATOR: This time, we are not
able to see Mayor Mu. We are told he is out of town-in
Beijing for party training or in the hospital for tests.
Corruption is rampant not only in the cities
but in the countryside, too. Here in Guo Village, local
officials make life a misery for the peasants. Guo Xin-min
pays about 25 percent of his income in regular taxes, but on top of
that, he has to pay a multitude of tolls and levies.
GUO XIN-MIN: Unofficial taxes
are tiliu. For instance, in the spring, they collected
a motor vehicle use tax. They went to every village.
Town officials came with land tax officials. They organized
checkpoints on the road. And they stopped you and didn't let
you pass if you didn't pay. They would even take your
vehicle. Sometimes, after tiliu, they ask you for
more, which they call something else, so the amount of tiliu
doesn't look too big. After tiliu, they wait for a
while, then they ask you to pay an irrigation project labor
fee. We don't know what they actually use it for. You
just have to pay. You can't refuse. If you don't pay,
the township official will come here to collect it, and there's no
way to refuse.
NARRATOR: Tax-gouging, falling
prices and a severe drought are making this a tough year for Guo
Xin-min. The one bright spot is that his son, Xiao-lei, has
managed to leave the village. Guo hopes his son will now have
a future, learning to repair refrigerators in Beijing.
GUO XIN-MIN: In the village, I
wanted him to learn some skills, like driving or repairing
cars. He didn't want to learn. Then he suddenly got
this opportunity in Beijing. I'm really happy he got this
NARRATOR: In Chestnut Flower
Village, almost all the young men have gone to look for work.
Hong Huan-zhen's life is unraveling.
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: Last time you
were here, it was big here and here. [pointing to neck and
eyes] Last March, my whole body swelled up. I
stayed in the hospital for three weeks. After I came back, my
neck got smaller and smaller. Now my main problem is
The injections they used in the hospital
were imported. Each shot cost about $2.50. Back home, I
didn't have any medicine or injections. We were harvesting
the wheat when I fainted. I lay in the house for a day before
going to the hospital. My husband was so good that I really
couldn't have asked for more. When I was sick, he lost weight
and his hair turned gray. He ran around to buy medicine for
me and to borrow money.
NARRATOR: The couple is now
$1,200 in debt, more than twice what they earn in a year.
Hong's illness has ruined her daughter's future. Although Yu
Yen loved studying, she has stopped going to school.
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: She cried and
cried. She said, "I want to go out and earn money.
There isn't even room for me at home." There is no separate
room for my daughter in the house. All our money went into my
YU YEN: I hope in my heart that
my mother will get better soon, so the whole family can be
happy. When she's sick, we're all unhappy, every day. I
cook and do housework and I work in the fields, but my dad won't
let me do the heavy work.
INTERVIEWER: Do you still want
to continue your studies?
YU YEN: I'd like to go to
school. I'm sad that I've missed the chance.
HONG HUAN-ZHEN: I don't care
anymore whether I live or die. I can't do anything about this
illness. If I was meant to die, I should just die.
NARRATOR: Our last trip seems
to have changed Tian Xiao-wei's life. The fact that we
interviewed her finally won her the esteem of the villagers.
TIAN XIAO-WEI: Every time I
look at the pictures, I miss you. I have all this bitterness
in my heart and no one to talk to. I'm happy that foreigners
came to hear about my bitter life.
NARRATOR: She is proud that
although she herself is illiterate, her daughter has graduated
TIAN XIAO-WEI: Last year, after
graduating, she became a teacher. Teachers, leaders, local
officials all think highly of her, and that makes me happy. I
feel she's given me face.
NARRATOR: She continues to work
long hours and to reap the benefits.
TIAN XIAO-WEI: Our life has
reached the level of upstairs and downstairs, electric lights and
telephones. I have a telephone, and there is an extension in
every room. It is very easy for me to contact my daughters
and son-in-law. My daughters want me to go and live with
them, but I don't want to live in a city. I feel this is my
home, with green hills and clear waters. This place, I've
paid for everything here.
NARRATOR: This year, China will
enter the World Trade Organization. Beijing has been awarded
the 2008 Olympic Games.
For Zhang Wu, these are the best of
times. Yet while he still relishes all the opportunities of
the reforms, some of his priorities are changing.
ZHANG WU: Pretty soon I will be
40, "the year when you are no longer bewildered." Your
feelings, your heart, are all suddenly different. I'm no
longer a single person, like in the past, when every day I focused
entirely on my work. Back then, you probably would have seen
me working all day long, without any time for the kids, letting the
grandparents look after them. Now we basically raise the kids
ourselves. We hired two nannies. One cleans the house,
the other takes care of the kids. But the nannies don't know
how to educate them, so when we have a little time, we usually
devote it to educating the kids
NARRATOR: Personally and
professionally, Zhang Wu is riding high.
ZHANG WU: In the last four
years, we have focused on establishing the company as a brand name
and building a reputation as one of the best. And it seems
that in the last few years, the company did become the best in its
field in China.
NARRATOR: Recently, he won the
biggest contract of his life.
ZHANG WU: I've been
commissioned to head the Chinese Design Committee, which will
create the look for the 2008 Olympic Games. I think that this
is the big thing for the next 20 years. It is also a big
undertaking for our company. And for me personally, it's a
very big job.
NARRATOR: 2001 is the
government's target date for the state companies to become
profitable. Some plants, having shed their surplus workers,
are doing better. Thousands have closed. Others are
still limping inefficiently along.
KANG XIAO-GUANG, Professor of public
Policy, Qinghua University: The state still keeps
companies under the state-owned mentality. To put it bluntly,
maintaining the state-owned system systematically guarantees that
party officials can continue to profit personally. According
to surveys we've done, officials and managers all know that this
kind of system will result in the death of the companies, but it is
in their interest to keep running them.
NARRATOR: Directly or
indirectly, the government is still pumping money into the state
WU JING-LIAN, Government
Economist: There are very, very, very intense debates on
this. Most of us believe that this cannot coexist with the
modern corporate system. I estimate that this year, when
there is not as much infusion of government money, some companies
will go back to showing a loss.
NARRATOR: But there are even
greater difficulties. The Communist Party is unwilling to
tackle the underlying problems of its own rule: corrupt officials,
a banking system that has no autonomy, and a legal system that is
often just a rubber stamp for the party.
WU JING-LIAN: It will be very
hard to move forward with economic reform without social, political
and legal reform. Legal reform will probably be more
difficult than economic reform because it has more political and
NARRATOR: In Shenyang, the
absence of legal and political reform has been costly. The
corruption scandal around Mayor Mu has paralyzed city hall and
derailed the reforms. Mayor Mu went on trial in September,
2001. At his home, police found jewelry, gold bars and cash,
evidence, prosecutors charged, that he had accepted bribes and
In a written statement, Mu admitted the
Mayor MU SUI-XIN: My
heart has always been with the Communist Party. When I was
young, I was a very good person. Now I am very bad.
This is my tragedy.
NARRATOR: Mu Sui-xin was
sentenced to death. The execution was suspended for two
years, and he was sent to jail.
We requested interviews with the prosecutors
and Mayor Mu. No official would talk. But people on the
street had plenty to say.
OFFICE WORKER: There's a saying
among ordinary people: As far as division heads and above are
concerned, take any one of them you can and execute him before
investigating, and he will not have been wronged.
NARRATOR: Dozens more officials
have been arrested, and investigations are ongoing. The new
mayor has complained that no one in city hall will work without a
MAN IN CAR: Let me tell you, if
China doesn't tackle corruption, the country is done for. I
don't care what you think. When I speak, I speak the
truth. If corruption was eliminated, the party would be wiped
out. The fall of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing
dynasties all started with corruption.
NARRATOR: In Shenyang, the
number of unemployed continues to grow. Locals now call the
factory district the area of "broken-hearted streets."
The Shenyang Machine Tool Company appears to
be an exception. It seems to have a future.
YAO JUN-XI, Managing Director, Shenyang
Machine Tool Company: This year, we supplied equipment
for the Shanghai Airport Express Rail Link. Our equipment is
the only domestic product that won the bid. The reason our
products and equipment have achieved their new standard is because
of the World Bank loan.
NARRATOR: Mr. Yao assured us
that the company was now paying salaries and pensions in full, on
YAO JUN-XI: No Problem.
One hundred per cent.
NARRATOR: But the company still
has a long way to go. According to sources at the World Bank,
it does not seem to want to repay the millions it has borrowed.
WU JING-LIAN, Government
Economist: This problem occurs for two reasons. One
is that they are in very bad shape financially. The other
reason is that the last time the state companies failed to repay
almost $17 billion, the government waived the loans. Well,
$17 billion has been waived in the past, so they expect that the
government will waive them again.
NARRATOR: The company is still
laying off workers. After we filmed him, Fu Xue-ren was let
go. We are not allowed to see him again.
The public relations department does not
want us to film Zhang Shu-yan again, either. After a two-day
standoff, we finally manage to meet with her. She still has
her job in the stockroom but, like many workers, her pay has been
[www.pbs.org: More about the making of
ZHANG SHU-YAN: My financial
situation used to be better. I was making more than $48 a
month. Now my salary is only $36 a month.
Expenses? My daughter's tuition costs me something, but other
things, like food-we eat very simply. Anyway, my daily
spending limit is $1.20. I can't spend more than that.
Water and electricity cost more than $12 a month, even if I use as
little as possible.
My daughter likes to look at how nicely
other people eat and dress. I want her to eat and dress well,
but I can't afford it. I just keep telling her, "You must
study hard. Studying hard is your only way out." My
life doesn't matter. My only hope is that my daughter can go
to college and live a good life. Then I'll have finished my
NARRATOR: On the outskirts of
Beijing, we tracked down Guo Xiao-lei, the son of farmer Guo
Xin-min. It's been almost two years since he left his home in
Guo village. Now 17, he is supposed to be learning to repair
refrigerators and air-conditioners. Instead, he and the other
apprentices have been told to tear down these walls and salvage the
GUO XIAO-LEI: We came here to
learn skills. Every month, I get $12 pocket money. We
also help-help with the work-I mean, all kinds of odd things when
the other work is done. In the evenings, we get together and
study, study for a few hours. For the last few days, we
haven't been able to study because the work is quite
exhausting. So we don't study anymore.
NARRATOR: For Xiao-lei and tens
of millions like him, the search for a better life often ends in
bleak exploitation. He shares this tiny one-room shack with
three other boys. They've insulated the walls with cardboard
against the cold. All Xiao-lei's belongings are stored in one
Xiao-lei gets only a few days off every
year. He spends them visiting his parents.
GUO XIN-MIN: Since Xiao-lei
left, we have much more work to do. When he was home, he
would cut the chives and dry them, and we had an easier time.
GUO XIAO-LEI: Since I left, I
miss them very much. After all, because I am away from home,
my mom and dad have a harder time. And I'm not there to help
GUO XIN-MIN: We certainly hope
he will have a better future, but we mustn't expect too much.
If you do, it may not happen.
GUO XIAO-LEI: I'll just do my
best, and there'll be a day when I can lift my head and make my
NARRATOR: We want to go back to
Chestnut Flower Village for a final visit with Tian Xiao-wei and
Hong Huan-zhen, but local authorities refuse us permission.
All they will tell us is that Hong Huan-zhen's situation is even
worse, and they feel her story reflects badly on the area.
Back in Beijing, it is photographer Nie
Zheng's 34th birthday. His mother died just over a year ago,
and he is going to visit her ashes. In his mother's last
months, he tried hard to reconcile their differences.
NIE ZHENG: There is one thing
in which I didn't satisfy her. I haven't married. She
asked me every day for a week. So I think, in her heart, she
would have liked to see me married. She really regretted that
I didn't. In this I didn't satisfy her dreams. What is
unacceptable is that, since her death, I think of her
constantly. It's really troubling and extremely
NARRATOR: In his grief, he has
decided to change his priorities. Now Nie Zheng only does
commercial work, photographing album covers, magazine spreads and
elaborate video shoots.
NIE ZHENG: I have to make some
money-for my father and then for myself. I feel that if I
have some savings, I will be more stable. I think growing old
and getting sick is pretty brutal.
NARRATOR: For the moment, his
artistic dreams are on hold.
Feng Hui-xiu now works at her husband's
garage. Slowly, they are starting to make a profit, and the
pension she negotiated two years ago gives them an additional
FENG HUI-XIU: People ask why
I'm so lucky. I have security, and they don't.
Actually, I shouldn't have quit my job. It was all because my
son failed the exams the first time.
NARRATOR: Feng's sacrifice paid
GU FENG: When I learned that I
did all right, I was really excited. To be honest, it was as
if everything I saw was beautiful.
FENG HUI-XIU: My son was
jumping on my bed. "I got accepted!" He almost broke my
bed. We were overjoyed.
NARRATOR: Gu Feng is studying
for a degree in sports management. He wants to be a personal
trainer, a concept that did not even exist in China until
GU FENG: There has been a lot
of change in China, and people like my parents' generation, they
definitely find it difficult to adapt to society today, while kids
are quick to accept new things. So there are definitely
conflicts about this. Sometimes I still ask my mother's
opinions on certain things. I asked her if I could have my
ears pierced. The way my mother answered, there was no room
for negotiation. It was a definite no.
NARRATOR: Working at the family
business has changed the emotional fabric of Feng's life.
FENG HUI-XIU: People who work
in state companies and people who work outside are two different
kinds of people with two different world views. In a state
company, there's selfless contribution. People talk about
spiritual growth. When I am with my friends at the plant,
having a meal or a good time, I'm usually very happy. When I
am here, my words are short and to the point. People work for
me, and I pay them. They can quit, and I can fire them.
Relationships are based more on money.
I don't like business. I don't like
cars. But what can I do? Because of my family's
situation, I have no choice. I have to compromise.
NARRATOR: At Capital Steel,
Wang Hao-ren also misses the sense of community that is
disappearing from his life.
WANG HAO-REN: Since I was a
child, I've had a very deep emotional attachment to Chairman Mao
because that's how I was taught. So as time goes by, I feel
that the relationship between people is getting more and more
superficial, not as deep as in the past. I really miss that
NARRATOR: The future of Capital
Steel is uncertain. It is a major polluter in Beijing and is
under huge pressure to reduce its emissions.
WANG HAO-REN: We are really
worried that Capital Steel will have to move before the 2008
Olympic Games. Since the Games will be hosted in Beijing, it
will have to meet lots of environmental requirements if it
stays. If the company spends its earnings on pollution
controls, it won't be profitable and it'll have a hard time
NARRATOR: After four years of
the reforms, Wang Hao-ren still feels unable to survive outside the
WANG HAO-REN: So what I'm
thinking is, wherever Capital Steel moves, I'll follow, because
then I'll be able to continue making steel, which I love.
Also, talking about studying something new, looking for new
jobs-deep down, I just don't have enough confidence.
NARRATOR: Today, China's
economic growth continues to be impressive, but the government's
plan to make the state companies profitable remains messily
unresolved. And as the country enters the World Trade
Organization, many fear that tough foreign competition will only
make the situation worse.
The impact of the reforms has been
huge. While there are clear winners, many have lost
out. Since 1998, 35 million people have been laid off.
WU JING-LIAN, Government
Economist: Looking back, we realize we've made many
mistakes. Things that should have been done from the
beginning weren't done.
[protest sign: "Workers from Dalian want
NARRATOR: In desperation, more
and more are taking to the streets. They are protesting
lay-offs, unpaid severance and pensions that never materialize.
WU JING-LIAN: There are two
things that need to be understood by Chinese people and foreigners
who are concerned about China. The first is what serious
difficulties China is facing. The other is that we already
have accomplished far more than many generations of the past.
FENG HUI-XIU: People grow over
time. I believe my growth, and how I came to be who I am now,
were shaped by my work at the plant. The best days of my life
were there. At first I really missed it, but leaving early
forced me into the real world.
WU JING-LIAN: If we can
continue in this way, there is hope that my generation, or the
next, will see China become a democratic, civil, and prosperous
Feng Hui-xiu decided to go back to
the state sector. She now works for the Number One Machine
To avoid losing her job, Zhang
Shu-yan took a demotion. She now cleans toilets at the
Shenyang Machine Tool Company.
Mayor Mu died in prison, of cancer,
in January, 2002.
CHINA IN THE RED
WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Michael H. Amundson
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY
Jason Kao Hwang
Brad C. Jones
PRERECORDED MUSIC BY
Jan C. Berris
Deborah S. Davis
Nicholas R. Lardy
Andrew J. Nathan
Edward S. Steinfeld
Anne F. Thurston
Martin K. Whyte
ABC News Videosource
Agence France Press
AP Wide World
China Central Television Corporation
Sinopix Photo Agency
Peter S. McGhee
Erin Martin Kane
Louis Wiley Jr.
An Ambrica Productions film for
© 2003 AMBRICA PRODUCTIONS, INC. and
WGBH EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
All Rights Reserved.
ANNOUNCER: There's more of this
report on FRONTLINE's Web site, including a roundtable with
prominent China experts on the prospects for Western-style
democracy there, a two-decade chronology of China's tumultuous
economic reforms, a talk with the producers about their experience
making this film, and the opportunity to watch the full program on
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China in the Red, call PBS Home Video at
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