Taiwan: Dire Strait (2005)

The President of Taiwan's stubborn push for independence has made him China's Public Enemy Number One. But how likely are these tensions to escalate into a military conflict?

"The world cannot sit by idly to see an undemocratic China remove the freedom, democracy and rights of Taiwan's citizens," laments President Chen Shui-Bian. But despite his best efforts, Taiwan's international support is dwindling. Only 25 countries still have diplomatic ties with it. Everyone else recognises mainland China. And since Chen came to power, China has stepped up its rhetoric, making it clear it will attack if it feels Taiwan is moving towards a formal declaration of independence. "As everyone knows, Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory," states one Chinese commander. "The task of our military is to defend the motherland and to ensure its territorial integrity." President Chen's problems are further compounded by the deep political divides in Taiwan. Only half the country considers him their legitimate leader. The others believe he is a crook who staged a mysterious shooting the day before the elections, when he was trailing badly, to boost his support. And much as the Taiwanese tend to see themselves as a sovereign country, few want to go to war over it. After all, as one woman says, "Mainland China is so big and we are so small."

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BBC 4 - Why Democracy? - Please vote for me (2007)

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Chinese Director Weijun Chen's charming film takes us into the world of Chinese schoolchildren, learning about democracy for the first time as they try to vote for their class monitor.

Elections are pretty uncommon in China, so when the children in a school in Wuhan, Central China are presented with the chance to choose their own class monitor they don't quite know what to make of it. It doesn't take them long to get into the swing of it, though, and soon all sorts of dirty tricks are going on. Urged on by their parents, the candidates launch elaborate campaigns of bribery and coercion.

After tantrums and tears, it's finally time for the vote, and who will win - the sweet girl who woos her voters with her flute playing, the bully who beats his classmates, or the boy who has the best sweets.


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One Child Policy (2005)

China's controversial one child policy has stemmed population growth but at what cost? From forced abortions to heavy fines, many have suffered.

"If people tried to have a second child and didn't have any money, they'd have their house pulled down," complains Liu Shuling. She attracted the wrath of local officials and was heavily fined when she became pregnant a second time. "It was very hard," she recalls. "Fortunately, we didn't starve to death." For the past twenty-five years, controlling population growth has been a major priority for the Chinese government. "Unless there is a containment of population, there will be no economic growth, no social stability or social harmony," explains official Siri Tellier. But there's real concern that this policy has created a generation of spoilt children. "They are very delicate. They can't cope with setbacks," states teacher Sun Kaiyun. Demographic growth may have been stemmed but new population problems have been created. The preference for boys has led to millions of female foetuses being aborted. Now, tens of millions of Chinese men face a future with no prospect of a female partner. And that could create the social unrest the one child policy was supposed to avoid.

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CBC - China's Sexual Revolution (2007)

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You've heard about China's Cultural Revolution and its sizzling Economic Revolution. But you haven't heard about its other great social upheaval - the Chinese Sexual Revolution - and like everything in that country it's happening at warp speed.

It's China's version of the 60s revolution - on steroids.

China's Sexual Revolution is the world's first glimpse - often using secret cameras - into this forbidden new China. It's a surprising portrait of the Chinese today: the new free love generation that's left their parents in shock; the booming sex industry that's creating an HIV crisis; the new generation of career women and feminists that suddenly wants it all - while millions of men feel left out.


Five - The Great Escape: China's Long March

Documentary about one of the most epic military expeditions ever. Surrounded by hostile armies, Mao Zedong's 87,000-strong Communist Red Army escaped and traveled nearly 6,000 miles on foot, in just one year. Their suffering was huge, and their casualties immense, but in an extraordinary feat of endurance, and despite repeated attacks, they preserved and re-established themselves as a fighting force. For the first time, the survivors tell their incredible stories.


Channel 4 - Unreported World: China's Olympic Lie (2007)

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When it won the Olympic bid, China promised to improve its human rights record. Instead, as this week's Unreported World reveals, things have got worse. In a world exclusive, Reporter Aidan Hartley and Producer Andrew Carter film inside one of Beijing's 'black jails' - which the authorities deny exist - and with ordinary people suffering the consequences of fighting eviction to make way for Olympic infrastructure.

China has spent £19 billion on the Olympic sites, but this figure represents a fraction of the money that has gone into one of the swiftest and most radical urban redevelopment schemes in all of human history. Some 5,000 old neighbourhoods, or hutongs, have been bulldozed to make way for avenues of high rises and up to 1.5 million people have been forcibly relocated. Although many are happy to receive compensation and relocation to new apartments, the eviction packages are not negotiable and many who refuse to move have suffered terrible consequences.

Everywhere the team travels in Beijing they meet desperate and angry ordinary Chinese, many of them elderly, who have been beaten, threatened and intimidated by developers and government officials who warn: 'The sooner you leave the more you win, the longer you leave it the worse you will suffer'.

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