BBC 2 – China’s Capitalist Revolution 19 June 2009
BBC 2: China’s Capitalist Revolution (Documentary, 19 June 2009)
When Chairman Mao died in 1976, he left China in chaos and poverty. He was succeeded by Deng Xiaoping, who overturned Maoism and taught the Chinese to love capitalism, creating special investment zones for the West. But Deng’s crash course in capitalism went wrong when inflation grew and workers lost jobs.
By 1989, China faced disaster. Now, 20 years after the tragic events in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, this programme reveals an interpretation of the motives of the demonstrators that may well overturn the conventional view in the West.
The demonstrators did not begin by demanding democracy. Corruption, inflation and the hardship caused by economic reforms drove students and workers to confront the government and the army. Students went on hunger strike, and troops killed more than 2,000.
Deng Xiaoping gave the order to fire, but his ideas prevailed. This film argues that Deng’s capitalist revolution created today’s China.
Producer: Robert Coldstream
Executive Producer: Nick Fraser
A Brook Lapping production for BBC in association with France 2, VPRO, SRC/CBC, SVT, SBS-TV Australia, NRK, RTBF, DRTV and YLE TV1
BBC Active Programme Information (http://www.bbcactive.com/BroadCastLe…logue/pro…):
When Chairman Mao died in 1976, hardliners were determined to continue the Cultural Revolution, drivingthe middle classes out to work in primitive agriculture.
But party member Deng Xiaoping – a former key ally of Mao, but later a critic – thought their policy was mad. China’s food production had collapsed and its industry was on its knees.
With the help of Politburo colleagues, Deng encouraged the peasants to take back their plots from the communes. He set up New Economic Zones which brought in Western technology and investment and allowed China to produce goods for export. This set the country on course to become one of the fastestgrowing
economies in the world.
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