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China: Triumph And Turmoil -

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(generated from captions) Europe's African empires unravelled.

achieved independence. One nation after another Look at the map today. the mad post-imperial patchwork, Look at all those straight lines, and agreements evidence of negotiations to do with tribal realities. that rarely had much Zambia was one of those new nations. to be free of the imperialist yoke. By 1964, they were very glad indeed They celebrated.

first great celebrations And one of Zambia's where Livingstone had died. took place at the village of Ilala, gave a speech President Kenneth Kaunda "their first freedom fighter". Dr David Livingstone as in which he described

around us today, you know, You can see the people here what does he make them think of? David Livingstone, when they hear the name fought against the slave trade. Well, er, he is renowned for having

after independent Africa, For that reason, you'll find that, all colonial names, the tendency was to remove and kept the name Victoria Falls. we kept the name Livingstone but here in this part of the world,

there were tribal wars. At that time, besides slavery, to fight each other. we became brothers. There was no need With the will of God, among ourselves. We started living in peace We stopped the tribal wars.

in this part of the world. For that reason, he's a saint We have sanctified him here. to the present tense, Livingstone was blind as a result, his wife among them. for the several Europeans who died and that made life difficult of a future without slavery, remember is his vision, But what the people of East Africa to independent lives. the races and the rights of Africans the fundamental equality of

For all his human weaknesses, in something better. was that he believed Livingstone's greatest strength

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd E-mail

Good evening. Manny Tsigas with a

World News Australia update. Great

Britain has won its first gold

medal of the London Olympics in the

women's rowing. Australia claimed

second. Syrian President Bashar al-

Assad says his country is engaged

in a crucial battle for its destiny

as fierce clashes continue in

Aleppo. Syria's biggest city is

reportedly running out of food with

predictions of

predictions of the violence could

lasts several more weeks. And

tributes are flowing for literary

icon Gore Vidal, who died in his

California home aged 86. A giant of

American literature, he was as well

known for his flamboyant social and

sex life as he was for his when I was 17, NIALL FERGUSON: 30 years ago, takeaway chicken chow mein. the word 'Chinese' meant disguised racist epithet 'Chinky'. Otherwise known by the thinly as opposed to culinary terms, In economic and political terms, China scarcely seemed to matter.

the People's Republic Today, however, economy in the world. is poised to become the largest is without precedent. The transformation industrial revolution in history Imagine the biggest and fastest compressed into just 30 years. that affects all of us. It's a revolution to begging Beijing With Europeans reduced to bail out our ailing economies, to new Asian masters. we're having to kowtow so little about them. The trouble is we know what really makes China work... So in this series I want to find out examining its past... what that means. I have never understood How can an essay have eight legs? ..and its present... So, we're currently being ticketed in Tiananmen Square. for illegal pieces to camera possible futures. ..and by peering into It's hell on earth. to precise. Or rather, hell UNDER the earth, and breadth of this country. I'm going to travel the length the people who can explain it to me. And I'm going to track down Ni hao. Ni hao. Ni hao. of Chairman Mao... From survivors of the madness newly minted billionaires... You must be Mr Yin.

tomorrow belongs to them. the Mao worshippers who believe in a Chinese-dominated world? What would it be like to live Should we be scared? crash and burn... Or could the red dragon (GUNSHOTS) has devastated China in the past? a recurrence of the chaos that Over the next few years, central to all our lives. these issues will become face of modern China. This is the smog-obscured of the vast metropolis of Chongqing In just five years the population to more than 30 million people. has quadrupled on the planet. It's the fastest-growing city this is what I see. Everywhere I travel in China apartment blocks. Miles and miles of newly constructed

Vast new roads and bridges. New everything. And yet the more I look at China, it seems to be. the less comprehensible

of capitalism or of communism? Is all this the achievement Or of traditional Chinese values? Of the Western free market?

explaining to my friend here, As I was just is as different the way the Chinese think as the way they write, from the way we think a little bit like and that's why I always feel

planet when I come here. an alien from another that I've grown up with, All the basic assumptions freedom, just don't apply here. particularly about individual

if I'd grown up on the moon It's a little bit as around effortlessly and was used to leaping on Earth, weighed down by gravity. and then suddenly found myself for less here than in the West. Individual freedom seems to count has to lie in China's history. For me, the key to understanding why you have to understand... And the first thing the Chinese economic miracle that behind

there lies a great fear. that an orderly society It's a recurring nightmare

Chinese call 'dong luan' - turmoil. will disintegrate into what the Rebellion of the 18th century... Turmoil like the White Lotus

..which claimed 16 million lives. of the 19th... Turmoil like the Taiping Rebellion as many as 20 million. ..which killed are reminded of every year Turmoil the authorities of rural protests. by tens of thousands as China itself. In fact, older. Such turmoil is as old More than 2,000 years ago, there was no China... ..just a chaotic land of competing war lords. But by 221 BC one king had emerged to create order out of this chaos and forge the warring kingdoms into a single empire. He was Qin Shi Huang and it's from his name that the word China, Qin A, derives. Today he's revered as the first emperor - the man who laid the foundations for two millennia of almost uninterrupted authoritarian rule. Qin was the first person to find a way to hold two million square miles together. His solution? Autocracy. Total power in his hands.

Over the centuries Qin's system of imperial rule expanded to encompass a vast territory... ..and many different peoples.

There was the majority, the Han people. But 55 minorities were also enveloped within China's borders... the Uighurs, Tibetans and Hui. This vast land became more like a continent than a country. A fifth of humanity now lives here. It's as if the combined populations of Europe, North America and the former Soviet Union were somehow under a single government. And even that entity would have a smaller population than China's. Remember how the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia collapsed into chaos and civil war when much smaller populations decided they couldn't live together? Hardly surprising then that China should be haunted by the spectre of disintegration. It shouldn't really be possible. By rights, this place should have fallen apart long ago. That, after all, has been the pattern in the rest of the world. So how's it done? Today, of course, it's a Communist Party not an emperor that has the task of holding China together. (MARTIAL MUSIC PLAYS) This vast hall with its thousands of delegates, is meant to create the impression that the country is ruled on collective principles - that this is a government of the people. In reality, however, the way China is governed is eerily similar to the way it was under the first emperor.

All the power lies in the hands of nine men with expressionless faces

and what looks like the same hair dye.

The Politburo is as unelected and as powerful as the Emperor Qin. Autocratic control in exchange for stability. This is the way China is held together and always has been. It's the same solution imposed by the Emperor Qin over 2,000 years ago. Yet it's not just the Chinese system of government that has its roots deep in the past. It's also their philosophy - the way the Chinese think.

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I'm planning to be here for a long time yet. But I decided it was a good idea to put a few dollars a week into an Apia Funeral Plan. When the time comes, they'll provide my family access to as much as $30,000. And you're guaranteed acceptance if you're under 75. Sign up today and Apia will thank you with a bonus six-month magazine subscription. That's why everyone's talking about Apia. Ah, it looks very heavy. For anyone trying to understand how modern China works, you have start with this man - the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. And there he is. A formidable figure. Freshly minted. It was he who came up with the system of autocratic rule that still operates in China today. And it still operates, because as Qin showed, it's capable of doing the most amazing things. Like mobilising the Chinese people on a vast scale. Just look at these. The magnificent terracotta warriors. Lined up as sentries at the tomb of the first emperor. He was clearly a man who aspired not just to omnipotence but also to immortality. And he was the first to start doing things on the epic scale

that you see everywhere in China today. Through here's a pretty astonishing sight. This is only one of three enormous pits, where they found rows and rows and rows of terracotta warriors,

stationed with weapons to defend the dead emperor Qin. And it gives you an idea as to what kind of a man he must have been. The entire burial area covers around 50 square kilometres, and at its heart is a mausoleum, which no-one has yet dared to open because it's supposed to be protected by automatic booby-trap weapons,

not to mention, rivers of molten mercury. Whatever else he was, the Emperor Qin was somebody who was determined to go down fighting death all the way. Qin's mausoleum was built by an estimated 700,000 labourers over 40 years. Just to put that in perspective, that's over twice as long and involving seven times as many workers as the building of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. This extraordinary concentration of power in just one person's hands enabled Qin to do amazing things.

He was the first Chinese ruler to build a great wall, the precursor to this one, which stretches like a huge stone snake

for thousands of miles along China's hilly northern frontier. It was designed partly to protect his empire from the nomadic raiders of Central Asia, partly just to project his power. Everything the Qin Emperor did was designed to hold his enormous new empire together. He introduced a standard Chinese script, which made it possible to enforce his edicts across the land. It was the First Emperor who imposed a single currency throughout China. And the circular coin that he introduced with the square hole in the middle, the circle to represent heaven and the square to represent earth, this was the standard means of payment in China right down till the 20th century. But when you take a step back, you realise that all these achievements - the Great Wall, the script, the currency - had one purpose... prevent this huge and disparate empire from falling apart. And sometimes, as in our own time, that meant ruthlessly removing opponents - anyone seen as a threat to the integrity of the empire. Qin was a burner of books as well as a builder. He was a tyrant who waged war against both scholars and landowners.

He tolerated no threat, however small, to his own monopoly on power. So when I look at the men who rule China today, I find myself wondering just how much their system owes to this guy, and what the first emperor would think of modern China if he could step out of the kiln alive and see it for himself. In some ways he might find the actions of today's leaders VERY familiar.

There may be a change of leadership coming up in China but don't expect any kind of election, much less a campaign. In fact this new ruler will be as far removed from the scrutiny of ordinary people as an emperor. I'm in one of Beijing's biggest bookstores. I'm looking in the political biography section for something about Xi Jinping, the likely next president of China, but I can't actually find a single thing. George W. Bush, yes. Xi Jinping? No. Now, you wouldn't have expected a Chinese peasant 2,000 years ago to know anything about his emperor. But today, it has to be different, surely? So, let's see - Xi...

..Jin... Nothing. Nothing! Not a single thing. I'd love to ask people here why that is and what they feel about it, but I've been told that is not the kind of question you should ask in a Beijing bookshop. So let's just reflect on its implications. Imagine going into a bookshop in London and finding no books at all about David Cameron, or going into a bookshop in Washington and finding no books at all about Barack Obama, and not being able to find out crucial things like their wives' favourite dress designer or, perhaps more importantly, what they actually think about politics. That's the kind of question you can't ask in China

about the next leader of your country. Think about it. (MARTIAL MUSIC PLAYS) Autocracy that values order over choice. Secrecy over openness. Unity over democracy. That's always been the Chinese way. But how on earth do you get a system like this to survive for 2,000 years? Part of the answer again lies deep in China's past, in the origins of a system of philosophy that puts social harmony above individual freedom. This serene temple was built to commemorate a philosopher born back in the 6th century BC. Kongfuzi, or 'Confucius' in the Latinised version familiar in the West. It was Confucius who provided the value system which is the very foundation of China's civilisation. A system that has long been used to justify autocratic rule. (BELL RINGS) That's the bell for lessons, I've one question. What is the most important value that these little kids are learning here at your Confucius school? You really can't understand China if you don't understand the enduring influence of Confucius's teaching on its history. (ALL SPEAK MANDARIN)

His ideal was of a society based on da tong - 'Great Harmony'. In the West we're brought up with a cultural code of individualism. In China the first principle is - know your place. (WHISPERS) The really important thing about Confucianism is that it's an anti-revolutionary ideology. It's an ideology that's designed to stabilise the social order, not to overturn it. (ALL SPEAK MANDARIN) So it's not surprising Confucius is back in fashion. of China today are still communist, Officially, the shared values economic and social change, but this is a time of massive so what better message to transmit than the ideal of social harmony? to an increasingly divided country meets Confucianism. This is where communism are ubiquitous in China. Billboards like this is good for the harmonious society," This one says that "family planning a classically Confucian idea. has spoken In fact President Hu Jintao that human rights activists here so often about harmony rather than censored. talk about being "harmonised" of civil obedience But the indoctrination of how China is held together. is only part of the story and to maintain autocratic rule, To stave off chaos to enforce those shared values you also need the means right across the country. the chosen method today And once again from China's imperial past - is a legacy centrally controlled bureaucracy. are rows and rows of these stele - Here in the Confucius temple there engraved the names of the men stone tablets - on which are of the imperial civil service exam, who passed the final stage Luo Yinghe from Anhui, and I'm looking for one of them, superstars of the year 1571. who was one of the academic are over 100,000 names here, The trouble is that there for a chopstick in a lumber yard. so it's a wee bit like looking all the way from the small village Luo had come to join the elite of Chengkan in Anhui Province to implement imperial rule. whose job it was actually And here he is. Luo Yinghe. from the provinces must have felt Just imagine how this boy engraved in stone here. to find his name of the ultimate imperial elite. He was a member now wielded immense power. The bureaucracy he joined the emperor's edicts. It was their job to enforce of Confucian harmony To ensure that the doctrine applied throughout the land. was actually had to be indoctrinated But first the bureaucrats in Confucian values themselves. Confucian canon, They had to learn the entire some 400,000 characters.

to write the dreaded 8-legged essay. Then as a final test they had Yes, eight-legged essay. An eight-legged essay. what that means. I...I've never understood How can an essay have eight legs? That's quite... on the task of explaining to me Dr Zhao Dongmei has taken the essay's formidable challenges. should be composed of ten parts, A eight-legged essay there should be four parts. but among the ten parts, very special. The four parts are quite different - special four part called 'four gu.' They should have this one of two parallel sentences. It means a pair Oh, I see. Is that... Now, what's a parallel sentence? Um, I think it's, um... It's a very... Can you show me? OK. I'm sorry, it's too difficult, so... give you a simple explanation. ..not right here, but I can the 8-legged essay. Well, I think I understand when it comes to exam time, Though one thing's for sure, my students get off lightly. (MARCHING MUSIC) to join the bureaucratic elite These days, it's true, if you want an 8-legged essay, you don't have to write in Confucian values. or to be indoctrinated generation of Communist mandarins But the new of even the first emperor. wield a power beyond the dreams

the Chinese today are neon addicts. When it comes to advertising, with brightly illuminated signs. Every building in Beijing is ablaze it comes as rather a shock. So when you find one that isn't, There are some buildings in China to film, that they really don't want you they REALLY don't want you to film. and this one behind me is the one there's no neon sign You can tell because no fluttering flags, and there are the Organisation Department but that is of the Chinese Communist Party - that runs China. it's the...the building as it is anonymous. And it's as powerful

at the top of the Communist Party From here the select few biggest bureaucracy - control the world's some 80 million party members. modern China together. This is the force that holds (DOGS BARK) Ni hao. The Communist Party's influence and crannies of people's lives reaches into the tiniest nooks in the smallest villages, like Chengkan in Anhui province. of the Chinese Communist Party It makes sense to think as a kind of pyramid, and Premier Wen Jiabao, with President Hu Jintao at the top these guys - and right down at the base, and the local party cadre the village party secretary been sent down into the country. who has is at the bottom of this pyramid. Mr Yao Gang we're going to visit. Hey. Oh, this is the guy His job is to enforce policies details of peoples' lives... controlling the most personal to how many children they can have. ..from the taxes they pay Very nice to meet you. sure that people are, well...happy. And, of course he also has to make So, he's the local barber? he have that you can help him with? And what kind of problems does I might move here myself. Sounds ideal. I think in China - That's something you often hear "Everything here is just great! We have no worries at all!" "Everything here is fine! (CAR HORN BEEPS) Alright. Why is that, I wonder? a film about Chinese communism One of the challenges about making is that you're never really alone about the party. when you want to talk trying to earwig There's always at least five people to work out what you're saying. to say the least. Which makes it challenging, system deeply uncongenial. I naturally find this political country is fundamentally unsuited And when the Chinese say their instinctively want to disagree. to Western-style democracy, I just a fundamental human right and need? Surely, political freedom's Surely, it's only a matter of time before the Chinese rebel against their leaders and demand at least some say in the way they're governed. There is, after all, one very big problem with this particular system of centralised, authoritarian rule. A problem which some experts in the West today believe will ultimately force the Chinese system to reform... ..or collapse. It's a problem that I've found hidden away all over China. And it's as big now as it was in China's imperial past. I'm talking about corruption, and corruption on a scale that itself threatens to spark turmoil and revolt. Is this another courtyard? This is the largest non-imperial palace in the capital, Beijing. It even looks a bit like a miniature Forbidden City. It's absolutely lavish, isn't it? If one looks at the decoration up here, it's incredibly intricate. But the fact that it was bought by a corrupt bureaucrat with the ill-gotten gains of a multibillion-pound scam is somehow missing from the official guide book. So this is the garden of the palace? Palace, yes. And was this garden built in... the beginning for Heshen,

or did it come later? Came later. Emperor Doaguang signed... My guide for the day tells me that the palace was built by the Qianlong Emperor's favourite at the Imperial Court - a Manchu official by the name of Heshen. But, um, how did he come by his amazing wealth? At that time Heshen was a very good-looking man. Yeah. Very young. And he was very good to the Emperor. Right. He tried every effort to please the Emperor.

And he was very talented to aggregate wealth for some reason. Yes. That's pretty clear when you...when you look at this. It's the kind of building we'd expect a billionaire to live in today.

I think a billionaire couldn't afford to buy this courtyard. He'd be a trillionaire. So Heshen was a...Heshen was a Chinese trillionaire. I think what I've just heard there was an absolutely classic example of the Chinese tendency to airbrush the bad news out of their history. Essentially, Heshen exploited his position as the Emperor's favourite to pocket practically anything he took a fancy to. And we know this because when his protector died he was arrested. When they raided the palace, the investigators found an absolutely amazing haul of stuff. This list that they compiled is just breathtaking - 2 jade horses, 10 ceremonial drums, 100 Western clocks.

Hundreds of pearls, 18 gold ingots, these, whatever they are. And the list just goes on and on. It all adds up to a haul believed to be worth a quite astonishing 800 million tael of silver or ?22 billion in today's money. That was more than the total state income for 10 years. But if you thought this kind of corruption was a thing of the imperial past, then you've got another thing coming. Well, you get used to pretty big figures when you're talking about this country, but this story in the official Government-controlled English language daily really does take some beating. (READS) "Corrupt officials "and company executives in China transfer their assets overseas "through at least eight channels," according to the report. The report estimates that up to 800 billion yuan - which is about $123 billion - has been transferred overseas by 18,000 fleeing or missing officials and company executives since the mid-1990s. You cannot really understand China today if you don't realise the huge potential for venality of a highly centralised bureaucratic system. if there's no political opposition, After all,

if there's no free press, with a position of power what's to stop somebody for their own personal gain? from exploiting that position in 21st century China Just as in imperial times, into every corner of life... corruption reaches only by the ingenuity ..its extent matched with which money changes hands. game of mahjong, This is the immensely popular which the Chinese absolutely love. recent trials of corrupt officials, According to evidence from some can be surreptitiously passed this is one way that money to officials. from property developers Just imagine the scene - inexplicably loses the property developer's wife to the party official's wife. a huge amount of money That's the way the deal is done. perspective In order to get an American of Chinese corruption, on the problem to Washington DC. I've come here this isn't Washington, Well, actually, no, Anhui province it's Fuyang in China's of the Washington Capitol and in many ways this replica is an absolutely perfect symbol in China today. of the problem of corruption government office It was built as the district Zhang Zhi'an. by the local party secretary, Zhang was subsequently convicted to promote other officials of taking bribes 52 times whistleblower, who killed himself. and then of framing the and another corrupt bureaucrat Two years ago Zhang were sentenced to death. campaigns against corruption Despite high-level led by President Hu Jintao himself, any senior party official we've been unable to get on the corruption issue here. to comment willing to talk to us Indeed, the only person

is a very brave journalist. about corruption non-party journal, 'Caijing'. Xu Kai works for China's leading He's as independent as you can get government censors in a country where watch journalists like hawks. Chinese leadership When I hear the top on corruption, I ask myself, saying they're going to wage a war should I believe them? going to destabilise China? Is this fundamentally actually collapse in on itself? Is it so bad that the system could gnawing away at the values Corruption is a cancer that are supposed to unite China. have lost their land Millions of peasant farmers property developers. to unscrupulous poisoned by processed food Thousands of people have been that turned out to be contaminated. then tried to cover up. Scandals that corrupt officials officials get busted, Now and again, a few middle-ranking

but the big fish swim on. minor irritants. These are more than just that grievances about such scandals The lesson of Chinese history is full-blown revolt. have the potential to generate And, in a country the size of China, can be devastating, the consequences of revolt unleashing death and disintegration. turmoil. The Chinese call it 'dong luan' - China's leaders today. It's the spectre that haunts desperate to avoid at all costs. It's the one thing they are turn against those in authority, Because when the Chinese in the West can barely imagine. they do so on a scale that we of the imperial era, In the last two centuries a corrupt political system violent popular revolts against repeatedly swept through China. of the messianic White Lotus cult In the 1790s, followers hundreds of thousands... took up arms in their a huge swathe of the empire. ..running amok over of some 16 million people. The rebellion caused the deaths rebellion followed rebellion. In the 19th century, ravaged the north and south... became a war zone ..a vast area of central China millions of supporters as the imperial army battled of another religious cult.

Hong Xiuquan. The cult's leader was this man - the civil service exams After he had failed and suffered a nervous breakdown, as the brother of Jesus Christ. Hong remodelled himself... The Taiping Rebellion he led 20 million people. cost the lives of another and chaos was truly staggering. The human cost of all this conflict

Between 1850 and 1864 were killed more than twice the number of people during the First World War. as lost their lives on all sides As harmony gave way to anarchy, crumbled. imperial rule for two millennia the bureaucracy that had enforced was scrapped. In 1906 the civil service exam emperor, the 6-year-old Puyi, In 1911, the 559th and final relinquished power. to decades of civil war, It was the prelude of China's invasion by the Japanese. famine and the humiliation this bloody history It's only when you know Chinese Communist Party reacts that you begin to see why the today. so harshly to any form of dissent for cracking down on the minorities This history is their justification who demand greater autonomy. like the Tibetans and Uighurs the 70 million-strong Falun Gong, Or on cults like spookily reminiscent which to the authorities seems of the White Lotus movement. Or on the artist Ai Weiwei... criticises the regime in his work. ..who openly leaders The great fear for China's protests that hit China every year is that any one of the thousands of full-blown rebellion. could mutate into The official line is unwavering. has to be clamped down on Any kind of dissent the kind of chaos for fear of unleashing ripped China apart. that has periodically that we take for granted in the West And that's why the freedoms in a society of 1.3 billion people. simply aren't appropriate time and time again That's the argument I've heard Chinese Communist official. from the highest to the lowest And to be fair, who give the impression there are some Western commentators descend into chaos they'd rather like to see China every little tweet of dissent and indeed they hail as a sign of some impending explosion. So will China be engulfed by turmoil once again? Or will this vast bureaucratic state succeed in keeping the lid on popular protest? Is there anything different about modern China that means it won't repeat the disasters of the past? The key to answering that question is the legacy of this man - Mao Zedong. In the next film in this series, I'll ask why a man regarded by most people in the West as a mass murderer is still so popular in China itself. Is Mao nostalgia mass delusion? Or was Mao really the man who laid the foundations for the China of today? Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia Captions copyright SBS 2012

This program is captioned live. Britain

finally a gold medal. Trapped in

their own city, thousands of

residents scramble for safety in

Aleppo. Why the boss loves The Boss.

How Bruce Springsteen inspires the

acting Prime Minister. The death of

a controversial intellectual author

- Gore Vidal dies at 86. The only

sort of pro crypto-Nazi I can think

of is yourself. Good evening.

Welcome to the program. I'm Manny

Tsigas. Great Britain's Olympics

have finally begun winning their

first gold medal this evening. SBS

senior correspondent Brian Thomson

is in London for the Games and it

has taken longer than they expected,

but Britain is suddenly looking a

little more happy and glorious? Yes,

we had a dramatic day Canada and left clinging for third. Michael Phelps has confirmed his

place in the record books. He has

collected gold and silver here in

London. Michael Phelps had to

overcome high expectations and

battle poor form. He can now claim

to be the most successful Olympian

ever. Team America left the

aquatics centre knowing that they

had witnessed one of the world's greatest sporting