October 16th, 2012

CNN Launches New Show ‘ON CHINA’ hosted by Kristie Lu Stout

‘On China’ premieres Wednesday October 17 at 1030 BST / 1130 CET and takes viewers inside the Chinese Communist Party, with insights from:

 Hung Huang, influential Chinese media personality, respected publisher, blogger

  • Victor Gao, former official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, English translator for Deng Xiaoping
  • John Pomfret, award-winning journalist and China commentator

 Preview Video

As China prepares for its most significant leadership transition in decades, CNN today announces the launch of its first ever regular series focused on the country, the first by any international television news network. The new monthly show hosted by CNN correspondent and anchor Kristie Lu Stout provides viewers with a unique insider’s view of China from within its own borders.

Shot on location in Hong Kong at the historic Hullett House, in each 30-minute show Lu Stout sits down with thought and business leaders from within China’s borders for a roundtable discussion about what really drives this world power and economic giant.

With China’s leadership transition expected within a month, the first episode delves into the Chinese Communist Party, exploring how membership is obtained, factions within the party, the personality traits of China’s presumed next leader, and the impact of the ongoing Bo Xilai scandal. At the table helping to demystify the Chinese Communist Party is Hung Huang, a celebrated Chinese media personality and publisher brought up among China’s political elite, Victor Gao, a former official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry and English translator for Deng Xiaoping and John Pomfret, award-winning journalist and China commentator.

“The world is watching China more than ever and our new show delivers in-depth, intelligent insights on its economic, political and cultural drivers,” said Mike McCarthy, Senior Vice President, CNN International. “We’re proud to be the first international news network to dedicate a regular show to China, enabling viewers within China’s borders and around the world to better understand the country and its people.”

“China is a country of dramatic change, political intrigue, and dynamic economic growth,” added Kristie Lu Stout, CNN anchor/correspondent and host of ‘On China’. “I’ve been writing and reporting about China since the late 1990s, and the nation continues to fascinate me. I’m excited to host a regular discussion on current affairs and trends inside China.”

The November episode of ‘On China’ looks at the growing strength of Chinese consumerism and in December, the show focuses on Chinese exploration.

Excerpts from the first episode of ‘On China’: Inside the Chinese Communist Party

Hung Huang, Chinese media personality, well-known publisher and blogger:

“With the advance of technology and the Internet I think that people know a lot more about the party than actually it was willing to let people know. And the party also knows, through the Internet and Weibo, a lot more about how people feel about the party than it probably wants to know. So I think, given that interaction happening, you’re pushing the party toward some kind of reform or game-changer.”

“The Chinese, some of us… kind of live with the idea that the Cultural Revolution is a thing of the past, that no one in China will be crazy enough to go the populist route. To recreate a political movement that turns the country upside down, so much suffering, so much unbelievable destruction of culture and wealth… but the Bo Xilai thing seem to have hit a very sensitive note in the Chinese memory and psyche to say that actually, people actually are thinking about taking that route – and that is really scary.”

“The young people, they are very independent-thinking, they are not particularly enamored, especially after 2008, with an American style political system. I think that chapter has definitely turned its page.”

Victor Gao, former official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry and English translator for Deng Xiaoping:

“Many people from outside of China tend to look at the Communist Party of China as a monolithic group of people. But in reality, it is not. First of all, personalities do matter. Secondly, these so-called political camps do exist. You have these people in higher positions, which belong to different traditions. You have different mentors, you have different associations.”

“If you look at China over the past 30 years in a dynamic way you are confident, you have the optimism; you have the hope that tomorrow China will be better than today because today China is better than yesterday.”

“I think that the Communist Party of China will remain the ruling party for many years – if not for many decades – to come. However, that doesn’t mean that there will be no increasing amount of democracy or democratic participation… It may not be  the same as in the United States or in Britain or in European countries etc, it will be very much of Chinese characteristics and that will set China apart from other developed countries for decades to come.”

John Pomfret, award-winning journalist and China commentator:

“We’re entering a new period of uncharted waters, where China’s facing, going to face an enormous amount of challenges. Challenges from very charismatic and populist figures like Bo Xilai, challenges from the bottom up, for people demanding more predictability in their lives, a legal system that will protect their property, a good school for their kids, clean or at least trustable food for their children, clean air to breathe… I think politics will now be very important. And how new leadership deals with politics is going to be enormous.”

“It’s not simply a meritocracy. If your parents are Communist Party members and have a certain amount of connections to the center, chances are you are going to be in the party regardless of your… school studies.”

“The party understands now that the people… want to participate, but the party is struggling to give them a voice while at the same time maintaining total control.”

Airtimes for ‘On China’

First Episode: Inside the Chinese Communist Party

Wednesday, October 17 at 1030 BST / 1130 CET and 1730 BST / 1830 CET
Saturday, October 20 at 0530 BST / 0630 CET and 1930 BST / 2030 CET
Sunday, October 21 at 1230 BST / 1330 CET
Saturday, October 27 at 1230 BST / 1330 CET
Sunday, October 28 at 0530 BST / 0630 CET and 1930 BST / 2030 CET

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Twitter: #CNNOnChina

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