Current Events in China

  • One Nation: Two Futures? | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan

    Showcasing the differing viewpoints of "haves" and "have-nots," this lesson covers economic and political shifts in China.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Trust in the Law | Wide Angle: Window into Global History

    International and domestic pressure has forced China to reexamine its legal tradition that has long served the power and authority of the state as opposed to safeguarding individual liberties and freedoms. Although China has set forth reforms allowing for the development of civil rights for its citizens, senior judges and officials are still appointed and employed by its one-party government. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court," Chinese citizens air their frustrations and grievances with a government that has not fully modernized and is unable to meet the increasing demands of its populace.  

    Grades: 9-12
  • Illegal in Beijing | Wide Angle

    China’s laws designed to control the movement of rural citizens into urban areas have been met with limited success. Despite their second-class status due to governmental and social restrictions, rural populations continue to migrate and settle in China’s major and developing cities. Illegal migrants are faced with substandard living conditions due to laws preventing them access to urban housing and schooling. In this video from the Wide Angle film "To Have and Have Not," visit a migrant area and meet one of the families that reside in this impoverished community.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Farm and City | Wide Angle

    Taxes and fines levied by the local government have forced China’s farmers from the countryside into the city. Although in urban areas they are considered second class citizens due to laws that prevent them from legally establishing urban residence, the countryside has proven too difficult to sustain a livable income. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "To Have and Have Not," visit the farm of a peasant in rural China and the city to which millions have escaped in search of employment.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Migrant Workers | Wide Angle

    There are strict laws in China, dating back to the Maoist era of the 1950s, that prevent Chinese citizens from the countryside from working in urban areas. Harsh conditions in China’s rural countryside, however, have left many undeterred and seeking employment in the city. These migrant workers have been denied social services and are subject to poor working conditions because of their illegal status. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court," visit with migrant construction workers in Beijing.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Migrant Workers and Social Justice | Wide Angle

    History’s largest ongoing migration is occurring in China. One out every ten Chinese is leaving the rural countryside for one of China’s major cities. Despite their hard work, many of these peasants are finding their dreams for a better life in the city shattered by laws that deny them the same rights as urban citizens. In this video from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court," meet some of the peasants who have been largely ignored by the nation that they are helping to rebuild.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Jim Rogers Urges U.S., China Energy Firms to Cooperate on Reducing Emissions - Full

    Listen as Jim Rogers explains why American and Chinese energy firms should cooperate on reducing emissions. "I think the most important thing to know is that we need to go to work today to address the issue. This is not going to be cheap, it's going to cost. It's not going to be easy, because every way we generate electricity is going to take advances in technology," says Rogers.

    Grades: 6-12
  • New Worker Class | Wide Angle

    The economic boom in China has created a class of “gold-collar” workers, business professionals who are high-income earners and live in the country’s developing cities. Take a tour of the upscale apartment of Dwanzhi, one of China’s privileged gold-collar workers, in this video segment from the Wide Angle film film "To Have and Have Not."

    Grades: 9-12
  • China Plans to Ease One-child Policy, End Forced Labor Camps

    This Daily News Story from PBS NewsHour Extra was created on November 18th, 2013.

    China's ruling Communist Party announced reforms to two unpopular policies.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Extreme Global Makeover | Wide Angle: Lesson Plan

    Modernization is an important issue in many places, including China and India. Modernization may impact such areas as society, politics, the economy, and the environment. This lesson is based on two PBS Wide Angle documentaries—"To Have and Have Not" (2002) and "1-800-INDIA" (2005)

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Power of Developers | Wide Angle

    The success of the market economy in China has led to a vast expansion in construction and property development projects across the country. The transition from a socialist legacy of collective ownership of land to a new system that allows for private ownership of property has not come easily, however, and many legal disputes have resulted. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "The People's Court," meet a family who have been pushed off their land and feel betrayed by the promises of property developers.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Mitigating Climate Change in China and Ethiopia

    Learn about efforts to restore agricultural productivity to areas of China and Ethiopia, in this video segment adapted from the documentary Hope in a Changing Climate. Filmmaker John Liu tells the story of China's Loess Plateau, where thousands of years of farming and grazing led to unparalleled erosion and a loss of soil fertility. He explains how scientists and engineers implemented a plan to reverse the destructive process. Liu then shows us steps taken to restore vegetation to the eroded Ethiopian landscape, which had been devastated by drought. Restoration efforts help to fight global climate change, biodiversity loss, flooding, drought, hunger, and poverty.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Home Village | Wide Angle

    Rural communities in China have been largely neglected by the government. Local infrastructures, such as roads and schools, must be supported by impoverished families who have limited incomes. In this video segment from the Wide Angle film "To Have and Have Not," Dwanzhi returns to his village in the rural countryside where the economic gap has affected a community's development.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Up the Yangtze

    Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle.

    Grades: 6-12