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With a mix of new technology and old fashioned snooping, China has built an extraordinary system of mass surveillance to monitor its Uighur minority.

From collecting DNA samples to tracking religious habits and even individual electricity use, China appears to be building a vast security database to control the 13 million Uighurs that live in its western Xinjiang province.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the vast surveillance program that underpins China's "Strike Hard Against Violent Extremism" campaign.  


Travis McMillen

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how the news gets reported in some very different parts of the world.

We’ll talk to a journalist from Ghana about how politicians are undermining the credibility of the news media in the West African democracy.

In addition, as tensions between India and Pakistan are again spiking, we'll meet a Muslim journalist who describes the challenges of working in a country where Hindu nationalist sentiment continues to rise.

Finally, we'll speak to a journalist for a Hong Kong-based news organization about the challenges of reporting from Beijing.


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On this special edition of Global Journalist, an extended interview with award-winning foreign correspondent and author Peter Hessler.

In 1996, the U.S. Peace Corps sent the Columbia, Mo. native to a city in central China to teach English at a teacher's college. During that period, few Westerners had spent much time in the city, and Hessler's experiences became fodder for his widely acclaimed 2001 memoir, "River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze."

Hessler later returned to China and spent seven years as a correspondent for the New Yorker, becoming one of the most well-known foreign journalists in the country. Hessler went on to publish three other books, win a MacArthur "genius" grant, and eventually moved his family to Egypt to continue reporting for the New Yorker.


The success of CNN spawned many 24-hour news networks - many started by governments hoping to shape global public opinion to their advantage.

That group includes China's state-owned English-language CGTN, which broadcasts to 30 million homes in the U.S.

As you might expect from a news channel owned by China’s government - it’s not the place to turn if you want news about top Communist officials enriching themselves or reporting on China’s widespread violations of human rights.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, an extended look at the challenges and opportunities for CGTN as it tries to grow its U.S. audience. Joining the program is Mike Walter, a top news anchor at the channel and host of CGTN's "Full Frame."


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Having a child renewed filmmaker Nanfu Wang's interest in China's one-child policy. In effect from 1979 to 2016, the restrictions on family size halted China's explosive population growth but have left the country with a rapidly aging population. 

From forced sterilizations and abortions to fines and propaganda campaigns, Wang examines how the policy was enforced in her new documentary, "One-Child Nation." The film won the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and recently screened at the True/False Film Festival in Missouri. 

On this special edition of Global Journalist, an in depth discussion between Wang and guest host Joshua Kranzberg about the film and the human legacy of a population control measure unmatched in history.


AP Photo

Chinese workers have built bridges in Serbia, a huge railroad tunnel in Uzbekistan and a gas and oil pipeline across Myanmar. These are just a few of the dozens of massive foreign infrastructure projects China has financed across the world as part of President Xi Jinping's 'Belt and Road Initiative.'

In the six years since President Xi first floated the project, at least 124 countries have signed on to what is one of the largest international construction projects in history. Over the next decade, investment bank Morgan Stanley forecasts China will have plowed more than $1 trillion into the project.

But in spite of some notable successes, the project continues to be met with skepticism in the U.S. and other countries over concerns that China's deals with developing countries are not transparent and can land heavily-indebted governments in a 'debt trap.'

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at China's Belt and Road Initiative as dozens of foreign leaders prepare to travel to Beijing for a summit on the project.


Courtesy

On this special edition of Global Journalist, an extended interview with award-winning foreign correspondent and author Peter Hessler.

In 1996, the U.S. Peace Corps sent the Columbia, Mo. native to a city in central China to teach English at a teacher's college. During that period, few Westerners had spent much time in the city, and Hessler's experiences became fodder for his widely acclaimed 2001 memoir, "River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze."

Hessler later returned to China and spent seven years as a correspondent for the New Yorker, becoming one of the most well-known foreign journalists in the country. Hessler went on to publish three other books, win a MacArthur "genius" grant, and eventually moved his family to Egypt to continue reporting for the New Yorker.


U.S. Air Force

Earlier this year, Vice President Mike Pence renewed a call by the Trump Administration for the U.S. military to create a “Space Force.”

The White House’s effort comes in response to advances by China, Russia and other countries in space. It also raises the question as to whether or not the move might accelerate the militarization of space.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how militaries have and could operate outside our atmosphere - and what that may mean for the future of warfare.


AP Photo

In late October, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad issued a directive to state officials: raise the minimum age for marriage to eighteen years old.

The move came after a huge public outcry earlier this year after a 41-year-old Malay man married an 11-year-old Thai girl named Ayu. The man, Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, was a successful rubber trader. Ayu, who became his third wife, was the daughter of an employee who worked for a family business.

The case has highlighted the issue of child marriage in Southeast Asia, a part of the world where modernization and rapid economic development has sometimes co-existed uneasily with traditional religious and cultural practices.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at child marriage in the region, where Islamic law, local traditions and human trafficking all contribute to the phenomenon.


European Pressphoto Agency

Over the past year, China has vastly increased repression of the country’s Uighur minority.

A Turkic group that practices Islam, the Uighurs have long faced restrictions from Beijing – but over the past year as many as 1 million have been forced into “re-education” centers where they’re forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, sing songs praising the Communist Party and encouraged to turn away from their religion.

The Chinese government denies it is discriminating against Uighurs and says that it faces threats from Islamic radicals. Others see a massive effort to destroy the culture of 14 million Uighurs and coerce them into assimilating into Chinese society.  

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the situation for China’s Uighurs in the country’s western Xinjiang Autonomous Region.


Tareq Salahuddin/Flickr/Creative Commons

The imbalance between the supply of organs for transplant and the demand for them can be staggering.

There are about 75,000 people active on the U.S. waiting list for kidneys, livers and other transplantable organs. On average, 20 of them die each day.

And globally, the situation is much worse.

The international shortage of transplantable organs has lead to a booming underground industry known as the "Red Market,” where people illegally buy and sell human body parts to the highest bidder.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how the donor shortage has fueled a lucrative underground market, and how efforts to stifle it are shaping international policy.

(U.S. Air Force)

In early August, Vice President Mike Pence renewed a call by the Trump Administration for the U.S. military to create a “Space Force.”

The White House’s effort comes in response to advances by China, Russia and other countries in space. It also raises the question as to whether or not the move might accelerate the militarization of space.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how militaries have and could operate outside our atmosphere - and what that may mean for the future of warfare.


AP Photo

  In 1979 China's Communist Party implemented the “One-Child Policy” to slow the country’s population growth.

The policy was lifted in 2015, yet the effects of 36 years of strict population control will be felt for years to come. Today there are about 7.6 workers for every person over 65 in China. By 2050, fully 40 percent of the population could be over that age and the country is projected to have 100 million people 80 and over.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the emerging consequences of China's mass population control experiment.

Note: This program originally aired March 1, 2018

Massive multiplayer online role playing games like "World of Warcraft" and "League of Legends" are wildly popular in China. 

But the popularity of online games has given rise to fears that the country has raised a generation of "internet addicts." One 2009 survey estimated there are 24 million young people addicted to the internet in the country. 

The concern spurred the opening of more than 300 internet addiction treatment centers - many of which resemble boot camps that use controversial techniques to try to cure patients. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at internet addiction in China. 

European Press Agency

The imbalance between the supply of organs for transplant and the demand for them can be staggering.

There are about 75,000 people active on the U.S. waiting list for kidneys, livers and other transplantable organs. On average, 20 of them die each day.

And globally, the situation is much worse.

The international shortage of transplantable organs has lead to a booming underground industry known as the "Red Market,” where people illegally buy and sell human body parts to the highest bidder.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how the donor shortage has fueled a lucrative underground market, and how efforts to stifle it are shaping international policy.

WikiMedia Commons

China’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades been nothing short of remarkable.

Of course there’s been a dark side to this growth. As China has built more factories, power plants and cars, it also became one of the most polluted countries on earth.

But since President Xi Jinping declared a ‘war on pollution’ in 2014, China has also made big strides in tackling some of the problems. It’s become a global leader in renewable energy from solar and wind, has cut smog in big cities and is planning tens of billions of dollars worth of environmental projects. 

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at China's war on pollution.


IISG via Flickr

In 1979 China's Communist Party implemented the “One-Child Policy” to slow the country’s population growth.

The policy was lifted in 2015, yet the effects of 36 years of strict population control will be felt for years to come. Today there are about 7.6 workers for every person over 65 in China. By 2050, fully 40 percent of the population could be over that age and the country is projected to have 100 million people 80 and over.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the emerging consequences of China's mass population control experiment.


James Cridland/Creative Commons via Flickr

Overpopulation has been debated since British economist Thomas Malthus famously warned in 1798 that humans could reproduce far faster than they could increase their food supply.

But since Malthus's time, world population has grown from 800 million to 7.5 billion today. Yet worries about overpopulation are back. In part that's because lots more people are on the way, complicating efforts to deal with problems like climate change and water scarcity.

The UN forecasts that in the near future the world will add about 83 million people annually. By 2100, world population will grow to 11.2 billion.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at the growth of human population and the debate about its risks.


AP Photo

North Korea has one of the worst human rights record in the world, but for women the situation is particularly acute. 

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are rarely punished, and many women who escape to neighboring China end up being trafficked into prostitution or sold as brides to Chinese men. 

Yet despite these challenges, North Korean women often have more economic freedoms than men. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women's rights in North Korea. 


Massive multiplayer online role playing games like "World of Warcraft" and "League of Legends" are wildly popular in China. 

But the popularity of online games has given rise to fears that the country has raised a generation of "internet addicts." One 2009 survey estimated there are 24 million young people addicted to the internet in the country. 

The concern spurred the opening of more than 300 internet addiction treatment centers - many of which resemble boot camps that use controversial techniques to try to cure patients. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at internet addiction in China. 


(U.S. Pacific Command/Creative Commons)

After World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that formally renounced war or maintaining military forces.

Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to change that. Bolstered by his party’s big win in recent elections, Abe wants to purge the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. The move could lead the country into future wars and is reopening a debate in Japan on the country’s role in the world. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Japan’s post-World War II pacifism and what a change of course would mean for relations with its Asian neighbors and the U.S.


Crystal Davis/World Resources Institute / Flickr

Overpopulation has been debated since British economist Thomas Malthus famously warned in 1798 that humans could reproduce far faster than they could increase their food supply.

But since Malthus's time, world population has grown from 800 million to 7.5 billion today. Yet worries about overpopulation are back. In part that's because lots more people are on the way, complicating efforts to deal with problems like climate change and water scarcity.

The UN forecasts that in the near future the world will add about 83 million people annually. By 2100, world population will grow to 11.2 billion.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at the growth of human population and the debate about its risks.


U.S. Dept. of Defense

Advances in technology have transformed modern armies.

But as robotics and artificial intelligence progress, so do the chances that militaries will be able to develop ‘killer robots’ to fight future wars.

In military jargon, these are known as autonomous weapons systems that may not only navigate and find targets without a human ‘pilot’ but also make the decision to use lethal force on their own.

This has spurred a lively ethical debate about whether and when computers may be entrusted with the decision to take a human life.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the development of ‘killer robots’ and the debate about their use.


AP Photo

Sixty-four years ago, a ceasefire brought a halt to the Korean War and left Korea divided.

But in recent weeks the frozen conflict on the Korean peninsula threatened to re-erupt over the North’s nuclear weapons program. President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and the North’s Kim Jong Il countered with a plan to launch an “enveloping fire” of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.

The showdown has tested the credibility of both leaders and raised anew the prospect of nuclear war in East Asia. On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at how such a war might come about and how a more stable peace could be achieved.


AP Photo

Homosexuality may not be illegal in China, but LGBT people in the world's most populous country often live their lives in the shadows.

By one estimate, as many as 80 percent of the country's 20 million gay men marry women due to social pressure. The phenomenon is so common it has its own word in Mandarin, "tongqi," or "gay man's wife."

But the views of LGBT people are changing, particularly in China's biggest cities. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Chinese views of gay rights are evolving.

This program originally aired Feb. 16, 2017.


AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species. 


EPA

Homosexuality may not be illegal in China, but LGBT people in the world's most populous country often live their lives in the shadows.

By one estimate, as many as 80 percent of the country's 20 million gay men marry women due to social pressure. The phenomenon is so common it has its own word in Mandarin, "tongqi," or "gay man's wife." But the views of LGBT people are changing, particularly in China's biggest cities. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Chinese views of gay rights are evolving.

AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species.


European Press Agency

Most people outside of Central Asia know little about the gas-rich desert nation of Turkmenistan.

The former Soviet Republic has virtually no independent media and just a handful of bookstores.  Foreign journalists and scholars are rarely granted visas to visit.

So it's no surprise that presidential elections this month in a state sometimes compared to North Korea are little more than a show staged to buttress President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at one of the world's most isolated countries and the cult of personality built around its leader. 


AP Photo

A key pillar of President Barack Obama's foreign policy has been the attempted "pivot to Asia."

The idea was that under President Bush, the U.S. expended enormous resources fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That focus was a detriment to American relationships with the surging economies of the Asia-Pacific region - an area expected to account for half of the world economy by the middle of this century.

Obama’s goal was to put new heft to the political, economic and military relations in places like China, Indonesia and Thailand – and avoid getting pulled into more conflicts in the Middle East or problems in Europe. As Obama prepares to leave office, this edition of Global Journalist examines whether this policy has succeeded – or amounted to little more than talk. 


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