China From the Inside

Power and the People
Women of the Country
Shifting Nature
Freedom and Justice
Interactive Map
China-U.S. Quiz
About the Series
- Series Description
- When to Watch
- Discussion Guide
- Feedback
- Site Credits
Behind the Scenes
For Educators

Series Description

view of the Great wall of China

China's Great Wall

China is rapidly becoming a world power, but much of the country and its people remain hidden to those outside its borders. China from the Inside, provides a rare insider's view of China, her institutions and people.

China is at a critical point in its history -- it is richer and stronger than ever, but the clash between economic policies and the Communist political agenda complicates the lives of many of its citizens. China from the Inside includes perspectives ranging from those of the powerful to the powerless, the scholars and the uneducated, and the supporters and detractors of today's China. It does not shy away from China's many contradictions, with scenes from some of the most breathtaking places on the planet as well as the most polluted.

Across four extraordinary hours, the series explores a country of 1.3 billion people undergoing astonishing growth while facing prodigious obstacles:

Episode 1: Power and the People (60 minutes)
How does the Communist Party exert control over a population of 1.3 billion? 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. Read the transcript (PDF)

Episode 2: Women of the Country (60 minutes)
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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. Read the transcript (PDF)

Episode 3: Shifting Nature (60 minutes)
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 channelling 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. Read the transcript (PDF)

Episode 4: Freedom and Justice (60 minutes)
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? Read the transcript (PDF)

find out what you know and don't know in a China - U.S. quiz
China from the Inside is a co-production of KQED and Granada Television and is produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Jonathan Lewis. Presented by KQED Presents, it is underwritten by the CPB, KQED Campaign for the Future Program Venture Fund, David & Cecilia Lee, and individuals. A complete list is available upon request to PBS.

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