Ted Koppel and Charlie Rose On the People’s Republic of Capitalism

Ted Koppel interview with Charlie Rose is now up. Sweet. Check it.

Last night I watched the second installment of The People’s Republic of Capitalism – Ted Koppel’s documentary on how capitalism and globalization is changing the economic and cultural landscape of the People’s Republic of China. Part 2 was all about the cultural changes in China due to its unprecedented rapid economic growth — from MAOism to MEism (see teaser trailer). This documentary focused on people and their experiences in the midst of China’s economic boom (similar to FRONTLINE: China in the Red documentary). In this program Koppel takes the viewers on a cultural tour around the city of Chongqing (“a city of 13.5 million people — it could be the most populous city that most Americans have never heard of”). Koppel showed the growing cultural tension in China due to mass migration to urban areas and the clashing of traditional and new values, brought about by China’s embrace of Western capitalism.

The documentary is very objective, and insightful. I learned new things about China I don’t typically learn from reading news articles and mainstream news media. Koppel’s documentary also adds to the thesis of  “the rise of the rest” in a post-American world — a thesis that is eloquently argued by Fareed Zakaria in his latest book, The Post-American World. Based on what I’ve read from the book and from watching this documentary, it looks like Zakaria’s analysis is spot on. So if you’re interested with geopolitics, check out Koppel’s documentary and supplement it with Zakaria’s book.

I’m looking forward to the next installment of the People’s Republic of Capitalism. Part 3 airs tonight. It’s about China’s fascination with American cars. Here’s the trailer and the blurb:

“China’s streets have gone from being jammed with bicycles to being
jammed with cars. The nation is adding 25,000 new vehicles to its roads
every day — that’s more than 9 million a year — and the government is
building tens of thousands of miles of new highways. As millions of new
drivers hit the road, this newfound freedom is bringing more accidents,
more traffic and more pollution.

“China will soon become the world’s largest producer of cars as well as
the biggest market for new cars. Foreign automakers like GM and Ford
are already enjoying huge success in China — today, more Buicks are
sold in China than in the U.S. Meanwhile, Chinese automakers are
planning an assault on the U.S. market with low-cost cars and they hope
to be in American showrooms as early as next year.”

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