China And The World

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Who Dares Wins?20191027

Isabel Hilton, an eminent authority on China and chief executive of chinadialogue.net, presents three programmes looking at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.
The series looks at the Chinese government's efforts to win over "hearts and minds" with a sophisticated media strategy and at the efforts Beijing is making on its own account and in international organisations to "build a Chinese world".
In this first programme, Hilton focuses on the Chinese government's flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This claims to increase the economic security and power of the host nations whose infrastructure is improved by Beijing's inward investment and to benefit China too. The Chinese Communist Party calls it a win-win for both Beijing and the countries receiving Chinese investment. But is it?
Talking to leading experts on China, its politics and its economy, Hilton discovers the reasons for China's overtures to countries such as Pakistan, Cambodia and Kazakhstan and those further afield in Africa, Latin America and even Europe. If these countries get new ports and high-speed railway links as well as bridges and tunnels, what does Beijing want - and get - in return?
Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping said those involved in BRI projects should be China's ambassador but, Hilton asks, what exactly does that mean?
And although some projects in central Asia and Africa are already completed, they haven't always been completed to the expected standards. Elsewhere, the debt the recipient countries have taken on with China to fund their much-desired new facilities has proved so onerous for them that Beijing has needed to intervene to keep things on track.
So just how well is China's launch into the global big time going?

Producer Simon Coates

Is China's engagement with the wider world a "win-win" or just a one-sided grab for power?

Isabel Hilton looks at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.

01Who Dares Wins?20191027

Isabel Hilton, an eminent authority on China and chief executive of chinadialogue.net, presents three programmes looking at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.
The series looks at the Chinese government's efforts to win over "hearts and minds" with a sophisticated media strategy and at the efforts Beijing is making on its own account and in international organisations to "build a Chinese world".
In this first programme, Hilton focuses on the Chinese government's flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This claims to increase the economic security and power of the host nations whose infrastructure is improved by Beijing's inward investment and to benefit China too. The Chinese Communist Party calls it a win-win for both Beijing and the countries receiving Chinese investment. But is it?
Talking to leading experts on China, its politics and its economy, Hilton discovers the reasons for China's overtures to countries such as Pakistan, Cambodia and Kazakhstan and those further afield in Africa, Latin America and even Europe. If these countries get new ports and high-speed railway links as well as bridges and tunnels, what does Beijing want - and get - in return?
Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping said those involved in BRI projects should be China's ambassador but, Hilton asks, what exactly does that mean?
And although some projects in central Asia and Africa are already completed, they haven't always been completed to the expected standards. Elsewhere, the debt the recipient countries have taken on with China to fund their much-desired new facilities has proved so onerous for them that Beijing has needed to intervene to keep things on track.
So just how well is China's launch into the global big time going?

Producer Simon Coates

Is China's engagement with the wider world a "win-win" or just a one-sided grab for power?

Isabel Hilton looks at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.

Isabel Hilton, the eminent authority on China and chief executive of chinadialogue.net, presents three programmes looking at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.
The series looks at the Chinese government's efforts to win over "hearts and minds" with a sophisticated media strategy and at the efforts Beijing is making on its own account and in international organisations to "build a Chinese world".
In this first programme, Hilton focuses on the Chinese government's flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This claims to increase the economic security and power of both the countries whose infrastructure is improved by Beijing's inward investment and China itself. The Chinese Communist Party refers to it as a win-win for both parties. But is it?
Talking to leading experts on China, its politics and its economy, Hilton discovers the motivations for China's overtures to countries on its immediate borders - such as Pakistan, Cambodia and Kazakhstan - and much further afield in Africa, Latin America and even Europe. If these countries are getting new ports and high-speed railway links as well as bridges and tunnels, what does Beijing want - and get - in return?
Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping said those involved in BRI projects should be China's ambassador but, Hilton asks, what exactly does that mean?
And although some projects in central Asia and Africa are already completed, they haven't always been completed to the expected standards. Elsewhere, the debt the recipient countries have taken on with China to fund their much-desired new facilities has proved so onerous for them that Beijing has needed to intervene to keep things on track.
So just how well is China's launch into the global big time going?

Is China's engagement with the wider world a 'win-win' or just a one-sided grab for power?

02Hearts and Minds20191103

Time was when communists shunned the Western media, disdained its journalists and denounced its perceived ideological links to capitalism and liberal values. Random arrests helped to intimidate questioning minds while restrictions on internal travel and access to local people ensured awkward scandals were kept largely secret and foreigners were mistrusted.
Now, seemingly, China has adopted a radically different approach. Glitzy television channels proliferate broadcasting in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. Beijing regularly invites journalists from developing countries on all-expenses-paid trips to Beijing and other major cities; inserts in such Establishment newspapers as "The Washington Post" in the US and the "Telegraph" in the UK present a positive image of today's one-party state; while Hollywood focuses now on box office revenues in China.
Less visible, though, is the work of the United Front Work Department, a key component of the Chinese Communist Party's operations, targeting influential figures in politics, culture and business to support China's interests and attack its enemies. A close watch is kept on Chinese students abroad, the Chinese diaspora and people of Chinese descent. Censorship of published journals persists and a whole new area of control has been established in "management" of social media and online sources of information.
In the second programme of her series, sinologist Isabel Hilton explores how new methods are being exploited to achieve traditional ends by China's rulers and what lessons ought to be drawn from them.

Producer Simon Coates

Isabel Hilton explores how China's Communist Party controls how we think of the country.

Isabel Hilton looks at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.

02Hearts And Minds20191103

Time was when communists shunned the Western media, disdained its journalists and denounced its perceived ideological links to capitalism and liberal values. Random arrests helped to intimidate questioning minds while restrictions on internal travel and access to local people ensured awkward scandals were kept largely secret and foreigners were mistrusted.
Now, seemingly, China has adopted a radically different approach. Glitzy television channels proliferate broadcasting in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. Beijing regularly invites journalists from developing countries on all-expenses-paid trips to Beijing and other major cities; inserts in such Establishment newspapers as "The Washington Post" in the US and the "Telegraph" in the UK present a positive image of today's one-party state; while Hollywood focuses now on box office revenues in China.
Less visible, though, is the work of the United Front Work Department, a key component of the Chinese Communist Party's operations, targeting influential figures in politics, culture and business to support China's interests and attack its enemies. A close watch is kept on Chinese students abroad, the Chinese diaspora and people of Chinese descent. Censorship of published journals persists and a whole new area of control has been established in "management" of social media and online sources of information.
In the second programme of her series, sinologist Isabel Hilton explores how new methods are being exploited to achieve traditional ends by China's rulers and what lessons ought to be drawn from them.

Producer Simon Coates

Isabel Hilton explores how China's Communist Party controls how we think of the country.

Isabel Hilton looks at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.

03Building a Chinese World20191110

In the concluding episode of her series, the leading China-watcher, Isabel Hilton, considers how Beijing is seeking to recast the international order from which it has conspicuously benefited over the last four decades.

A challenge to US predominance is neither wrong in principle nor a development which should necessarily prompt concern - but what are China's rules and how would it seek to lead an alternative approach to international order?

These questions have become more pressing as China has deployed its financial muscle, its role as a dominant trading partner and investor and new diplomatic vehicles of its creation to try and exercise coercive influence over other countries.

With the US consciously withdrawing from its long-standing leadership role in both specific regions and particular policy areas, China aims to use its growing influence - gained through institutions, organisations and policy frameworks of Western design - to reshape the rules of the international system and better serve its own interests.

Already, China is perceived to be a security threat in the East Asia and Pacific regions, while mistrust over the role of Chinese companies, such as the technology giant Huawei, is prompting Washington to try and curb their role in global markets.

Is this the beginning of an epic battle over who and which values should drive the international system? And, if it is, what would a world dominated by China's rules mean for countries like Britain?

Producer Simon Coates

Isabel Hilton considers how Beijing is seeking to recast the international order.

Isabel Hilton looks at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.

03Building A Chinese World20191110

In the concluding episode of her series, the leading China-watcher, Isabel Hilton, considers how Beijing is seeking to recast the international order from which it has conspicuously benefited over the last four decades.

A challenge to US predominance is neither wrong in principle nor a development which should necessarily prompt concern - but what are China's rules and how would it seek to lead an alternative approach to international order?

These questions have become more pressing as China has deployed its financial muscle, its role as a dominant trading partner and investor and new diplomatic vehicles of its creation to try and exercise coercive influence over other countries.

With the US consciously withdrawing from its long-standing leadership role in both specific regions and particular policy areas, China aims to use its growing influence - gained through institutions, organisations and policy frameworks of Western design - to reshape the rules of the international system and better serve its own interests.

Already, China is perceived to be a security threat in the East Asia and Pacific regions, while mistrust over the role of Chinese companies, such as the technology giant Huawei, is prompting Washington to try and curb their role in global markets.

Is this the beginning of an epic battle over who and which values should drive the international system? And, if it is, what would a world dominated by China's rules mean for countries like Britain?

Producer Simon Coates

Isabel Hilton considers how Beijing is seeking to recast the international order.

Isabel Hilton looks at contemporary China's relationships with the wider world.