After centuries of western dominance, the world’s centre of economic and political weight is shifting eastward.
In just 30 years, China has risen from long-standing poverty to being the second largest economy in the world – faster than any other country in history.
From angry farmers to weary migrant workers, powerful politicians and everyone in between, what China says and does, has become of undeniable importance to the entire world.
| Episode 1 - The Dramatic Rise
Although no other country in history has risen so quickly from poverty to prosperity as China has, for many in the world's most populous nation, those advances have come at a price.
The economic reforms that made the People's Republic's rise possible have also led to a harshly divided China. Divisions whose impacts could easily spread from disenfranchised indviduals to threaten the economic growth contemporary Chinese society has come to be based upon.
In the opening episode of this four-part series, we tell the stories behind these divisions, from the rising urban middle class to impoverished rural areas and the precarious existence of hundreds of millions of migrant workers on the fringes of some of the world's fastest growing cities.
| Episode 2 - Power and the People
From the ruling Communist Party to filmmakers and bloggers, more and more people in China are looking to get their voices heard.
As blogs look to exploit their political potential and grassroots protests and mass incidents continue to increase in numbers, we analyse how the country run and how do the people get their say.
In this episode of China Rising , we look at how the people of one of the world's most powerful, yet closed states, manage to reach the masses.
We interview authors who struggle with censorship and self-censorship, and examine the country's thriving film industry, which seeks to top Hollywood.
| Episode 3 - The Fire Inside
Following the revolution of 1949, legislation regarding equality was passed, which was a huge step forward for China at the time.
And the economic reforms of recent decades have further improved the lives of women, yet it is the only country in the world where more women than men commit suicide, according to the World Health Organisation.
So, as China surges forward, how will society change and what role will the new generation play in this new global powerhouse?
|Episode 4 - Made in China
China's economic role in the world is growing at a record pace, and it is also now a key player in world politics .
The country has no doubt become a global manufacturing giant, but how will it deal with issues on the home front such as increase in pollution and water shortages?
Although it has been confronted with tough environmental problems, efforts are being made to solve these.
In the final episode of this series, through a range of interviews from Africa, the EU, the US, and China, we find out how it is positioning itself as a major global player.
The fourth part of this special series can be seen from Thursday, May 23, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600.