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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 16:59 GMT
Building Beijing
First broadcast December 2005

No city on earth is changing at a faster pace than Beijing.

By the time of the Olympic Games in 2008, the city aims to emerge as a super-modern capital that speaks eloquently of China's important place in the world.

In a series of four programmes, BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes looks at the image the city is making for itself in the 21st century. Is there tension between the desire to modernise culture and commerce on the one hand, and the limitations imposed by a single party state on the other?

Part Four: Building an Image

Not all the important changes in Beijing are the ones you can see.

In this programme, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports on the new image the city is fashioning for itself. We look at the growth of the 'creative economy', in television - where the Super Girls talent contest was such a recent huge success - in publishing, fashion and the arts.

We visit Factory 798 in Beijing, a former munitions factory that is now the hottest arts quarter in China.

But we also examine the limits on this growth: the prevalence of 'fake' items, the lack of an independent legal system, the role of the censor in monitoring imagery and print, and the croneyism that results from the Communist party's monopoly on power.


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