PLEDGE NOW
On Point in Shanghai – China's Oprah; Factions in the "One Party"

Hong Huang (CCTV.com)

Americans are learning a lot about China these days — including, increasingly, the country’s languages. For a real window into China’s popular culture, listen back to our show in Shanghai with Hong Huang, an entertainment and media personality who has been called the “Oprah of China.”

Of course, China’s dramatic rise is the subject this week of much Washington chatter, as President Hu visits. (Hear our take Thursday.) For some time now, China’s success — the product of much strategic focus  — has made some Western commentators worry that top-down “authoritarian capitalism” is becoming a real alternative to the messy business of American-style democracy. And some are arguing that China’s system simply handles challenges such as the financial crisis more effectively.

No doubt, one-party Communist rule does remain the general rule in China. But the country’s internal politics are not always neat and tidy, as Tom Ashbrook and On Point demonstrated in 2008. In a show broadcast from Shanghai, Tom, producer Julie Diop, and director Eileen Imada brought together voices representing the Chinese equivalent of “Democrats” and “Republicans,” from within the Communist Party. Tom introduced the show as follows:

The face the Party shows the world is monolithic. But inside the Party walls, there’s a debate over China’s future, with implications for the whole world. When China turned away from the old-fashioned communist economics of Chairman Mao, it turned with a vengeance — to what even the Wall Street Journal now calls a kind of naked, unfettered capitalism. That move brought hundreds of millions out of dollar-a-day poverty. It also wiped out much of a cradle-to-grave safety net, tore up China’s environment and produced a vast gap between China’s rich and poor. Now, behind that monolithic façade, a debate is underway within the Communist Party about how to respond, and talk of a “New Left” and “New Right” that can sound like China’s version of Republicans and Democrats.

If you want real insight into the true texture of, and disagreements within, China’s governing class, be sure to listen — link to the show here.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 21, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 21, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 21, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

 
May 21, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment