Houston Community News >> China From the Inside, A Special on Houston PBS

1/11/2007 Houston- CHINA FROM THE INSIDE on Houston PBS (Channel 8) Four-Part Documentary 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.

China is rapidly becoming a world power, but much of the country and its people remain hidden to those outside its borders. This winter, PBS viewers will get an insider s view of China, her institutions and her people in CHINA FROM THE INSIDE, airing this month on Houston PBS.

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. Candid conversations with modern urbanites are featured along with those of traditional rural community inhabitants.

CHINA FROM THE INSIDE includes visits to temples in Tibet, border areas of Muslim Xinjiang, Communist Party meetings, a village election, courtrooms, newspaper offices, a women s labor camp and a country wedding. From these domains, viewers observe the difficulties of navigating politics and culture in this vast country. Viewers will be able to discern a China that few outside the country ever glimpse, a country of 1.3 billion people undergoing extraordinary growth while facing prodigious obstacles.

The four one-hour episodes of CHINA FROM THE INSIDE are:

• Power and the People How does the Communist Party exert control over 1.3 billion Chinese? 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.

• Women of the Country China s women 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.

• Shifting Nature 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.

• Freedom and Justice 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?

China From The Inside will air on Houston PBS digital channel 8.1, cable channel 308 on the following schedule:

Thursday, January 11, 8 p.m. Power and the People

9 p.m. Women of the Century

Thursday, January 18, 8 p.m. Shifting Nature

9 p.m. Freedom and Justice

Episodes 3 and 4, Shifting Nature and Freedom and Justice will air on Houston PBS, Channel 8 on Wednesday, January 17. Check www.houstonpbs.org for more information on repeat schedules for this series.

(Contributed by Sarah White, Houston PBS)