TV series aims to 'decode' China

Updated: 2014-06-18 08:06

By He Wei (China Daily)

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TV series aims to 'decode' China

Tian Lipu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, is interviewed by China's Challenges host Robert Kuhn.

"But I suggested that to explore the problems and the challenges that China's new leaders face might be a better way to tell the real story to international audiences," Kuhn says.

TV series aims to 'decode' China

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TV series aims to 'decode' China

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The TV series is now being broadcast on PBS, a mainstream US station that is wary of airing anything that looks like government propaganda, a rare achievement for a Chinese-made program.

To develop original stories while maintaining a balanced, objective view, Kuhn sought intelligent partners, who know China well, have an international perspective and are not afraid to tackle thorny and sensitive subjects.

The International Channel Shanghai, an English-language TV channel under the municipal government-run Shanghai Media Group, seemed a perfect fit. A group of five young and talented women directors, together with Kuhn's team, crafted the year-long project.

While China's growing strengths have global import, the series touches upon the severe problems that China is beset with: economic dislocation, disparities between the rich and poor, inadequate and imbalanced social services, tensions over political reform, uncertainties of belief systems and more.

"We would like to have the series framed in terms of President Xi Jinping's Chinese Dream but not make it too apparent," says Sun Wei, channel director at ICS.