CHINA'S CHALLENGES explores how China is tackling critical issues, including disparities in wealth and education, social clashes, severe pollution, competing priorities, and tensions between China’s rich traditional culture and its rapidly modernizing society. With unprecedented access, CHINA'S CHALLENGES is co-produced by PBS SoCaL and The Kuhn Foundation in association with Shanghai Media Group (ICS). 

Series Highlights

Episode 1: Are the Chinese People Happy? While President Xi Jinping talks about "The Chinese Dream," the Chinese people talk about healthcare, education, housing, retirement.

Episode 2: Where is China’s Economy Going? While China is an economic superpower, its cheap-labor advantage is ending; its air and water are polluted; and its society is fractured by rich and poor.

Episode 3: Are the Chinese People 'Real' Citizens? The Chinese people today enjoy much higher standards of living. But how to make government accountable? How to curtail corruption? How to give citizens human rights?

Episode 4: China Can Produce. Can China Create? China seeks to be a "moderately well-off society." What new technologies is China developing? China must stress innovation and protect intellectual property rights.

Episode 5: What do the Chinese People Believe? What values are shaping today's China? Confucian ethics? Selfless Communism? Market economy individual initiative? What about sex and religion?

Series Highlights

Episode 201 - May 7, 2 p.m. - Can China be Harmonious? Migrant workers have poured into cities, creating dangerous social gaps. Severe imbalances threaten stability. How can all citizens have equal benefits and rights? Why do ‘left-behind children’ suffer? Why do cities need ‘urban order’ enforcers?

Episode 202 - May 14, 2 p.m. - Can China be Beautiful?  The Chinese economy has developed extremely rapidly, but at a very high cost to its environment, which is suffering extreme degradation. We travel down China’s mother river, the Yangtze, investigating dreadful water, soil, and air pollution.

Episode 203 - May 21, 2 p.m. - Does China's Civilization Matter? Do China’s traditional values clash with China’s reform, development and modernization? We consider Confucian thought and practice, Western classical music in China, and Chinese modern art and architecture. 

Episode 204 - May 28, 2 p.m. - How Strong is China?  We explore symbols of China’s growing and diverse strengths: deep-ocean submersible, domestic auto brand, modern ‘silk road’, and hybrid rice. Even as its economic power continues to grow, China’s power still faces high hurdles.

Episode 205 - May 28, 3 p.m. - How Modern is China?  We examine examples of China’s modernization challenges: farmers transformed through land transactions and entrepreneurship, the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone, and reforms in Chinese education, including science and technology. 

 

Executive Produced by Robert Lawrence Kuhn, Wang Jianjun, Adam Zhu, Brenda Brkusic, Mel Rogers

Co-Executive Produced by Sun Wei, Wang Lijun, Peter Getzels

Series Director and Producer Peter Getzels

Coordinating Producer Zhu Xiaoqian

Associate Produced by Kelli Serena and Chen Bing

For PBS SoCaL, Executive Producer of Program Development and National Productions, Brenda Brkusic Station Manager, Ed Miskevich

General Manager and COO, Andy Russell

President and CEO, Mel Rogers Program Development Coordinator, Michelle Merker