Five-Part Series: “China: Change or Crisis”
As China’s new leadership prepares to take power this month, NPR examines the challenges and opportunities it faces. Despite an economy that has grown phenomenally and rapidly, the problems facing the world’s most populous country are daunting. The five-part series from NPR foreign correspondents Louisa Lim and Frank Langfitt, airs on All Things Considered.
China Politics – Monday, October 29
Communism’s ideology has been largely abandoned, with almost no one believing the lip service paid to it by party officials. This creates a gap between the rulers and the ruled, and highlights the ideological bankruptcy of the party. Critics say China’s Communist rulers have become the new emperors, representing all they once opposed, and that growing inequality is the biggest threat to maintaining the Party’s control of the country. NPR’s Louisa Lim reports.
Stability In China – Tuesday, October 30
Beijing’s preoccupation with stability is such that it now spends more on internal stability than it does on national defense. NPR’s Louisa Lim takes a journey through China’s machinery of stability maintenance: how the state deals with dissidents and incidents of mass unrest, and the paradox that short-term stability is won by violence, but the long-term result breeds resentment and anger against the authorities.
China’s New Economy – Wednesday, October 31
After three decades of extraordinary economic growth, you might think China would be celebrating -- but it’s not. The business model that turned China into the world’s second largest economy is running out of steam, and the government admits that the days of 10 percent annual growth are over. In fact, China’s growth has slowed over the past year and a half, and many blame faults within the system, as NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports.
China’s Rule Of Law – Thursday, November 1
Even those most bullish on China concede that one of the nation’s fundamental weaknesses and barrier to progress its lack of the rule of law. China is a one-party state with no judicial check on the Communist Party’s near-absolute power. Human Rights campaigners say thousands of Chinese citizens are held without due process in a huge network of secret detention centers. The lack of accountability has a corrosive effect on many aspects of life in China, from physical and intellectual property to personal freedom and business contracts. NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports.
China’s Foreign Policy – Friday, November 2
Ever since Tiananmen Square in 1989, the Communist Party has turned to nationalism, rather than socialism or communism, as an ideology. But rather than being a tool of the Party’s control, popular nationalist feeling is starting to drive the country’s foreign policy. There’s a growing fear of Chinese expansion that could encourage its neighbors to form alliances against it, which in turn could undermine the growing economic ties between China and the region. NPR’s Frank Langfitt and Louisa Lim report.
Photo: Martin Boulanger/SXC