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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
BBC Two's China series
With a population of 1.3 billion people and 56 officially recognised ethnic nationalities, China is a heady mix of different languages, living standards, beliefs and customs.

Filmed over 18 months with unique access to people and institutions, this new four-part series reveals what life is really like in modern China.


CHINA: EPISODE 1
Village election officials count the votes
Power and the People
Tuesday 13 June 2006
2100 BST on BBC Two

Power and the People

How do the values of the ruling Chinese Communist Party translate into daily life?

The Party bases its legitimacy on delivering both stability and the conditions for prosperity.

But stability is under threat as economic boom is leaving millions at the margin.

Government officials are increasingly seen as profiteers, rather than public servants, and public trust in the Party is waning.

This episode features Party meetings, military patrols along China's border with Kazakhstan and footage of officials in Tibet trying to impose authority at the grass roots.

But in Shadong province - just south of Beijing - a village election takes place.


CHINA: EPISODE 2
Women and children on Mazu Island, Fujien Province
Women of the Country
Tuesday 20 June 2006
2100 BST on BBC TWO

Women of the Country

One woman in China kills herself every four minutes.

With the highest female suicide rate in the world, China's women talk candidly about the pressures on them, particularly those left to tend homes and look after children in rural areas while husbands and sons are working towards the "economic miracle" in the cities.

Film makers follow a migrant couple returning for a visit to their village home... and the children they have not seen for a year.

They also explore the plight of unwanted baby girls, the discrimination suffered by Xinjiang's Muslim women, and the younger generation of women who are taking control of their lives in search of an education, a career and a love marriage.


CHINA: EPISODE 3
The Sanmenxia Dam on the Yellow River, dirty and polluted by rubbish
Shifting Nature
Tuesday 27 June 2006
2100 BST on BBC Two
Shifting Nature

China is trying to feed 20% of the world's population on 7% of the world's arable land. And a third of the world uses water from China's rivers.

Rapid industrialisation and climate change, however, have led to bad air, polluted rivers and drought. And rather than clamping down on polluters, local government often protects local industries.

Along the Huai river's main tributary, 50,000 people suffer from cancer and in one village alone, 118 people have died.

In this episode we see shocking images from "cancer villages", and hear from green activists, Party officials, academics and scientists as they wrestle with environmental damage.


CHINA: EPISODE 4
A monk sitting in the courtyard of the Sera Monastery in Tibet
Freedom and Justice
Tuesday 4 July 1006
2100 BST on BBC Two
Freedom and Justice

Democracy is stirring in China... closely monitored by the Beijing government.

Religious freedom is limited in an atheist state, and some groups - Buddhist, Muslim, Christian - are controlled.

Extraordinary footage illustrates increasing social unrest, in both villages and cities, as China's people demand their rights.

In Taishi village, residents sought to use the law to impeach and remove its corrupt leaders.

Praised by the leading Party newspaper in China one minute, the village was overrun with police and militia the next.

Frank interviews with Chinese people from Tibetan temples to law courts and labour camps, all grapple with the issue of how to make China fair as well as prosperous.


Executive producer: Jonathan Lewis


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