China: Time of Xi

People's Republic

From the ambitious kiwi-growing farmers of a tiny village, lost in the beautiful mountains of central China, to a violin-playing taxi driver in Beijing; from the young girls who believe their passion for football can be a springboard to achieving their dreams to a village shop-keeper whose life, and those of her customers, has been transformed by innovative tech – a dozen colourful case studies from across China reveal what the “people’s” republic really means in the 21st century.  

 

Given Xi Jinping’s very public commitment to ending poverty, how is China trying to help those 50 million Chinese who still – in a country of eye-catching wealth – live below the UN poverty line? As leading development economist Dambisa Moyo comments wryly: “I can assure you I would not want to wake up as president of China when 1.4 billion people are expecting their lives to be improved.”

 

And in the remote village where Xi spent his adolescence and began his political career, we investigate how his tough early experiences may have shaped his political ideas and his signature vision for a “Chinese dream.”