November 18th, 2021

Fareed Zakaria Hosts CHINA’s IRON FIST: Xi Jinping and the Stakes for America

New Fareed Zakaria Special Debuts Sunday, Nov 21 at 9:00pm Eastern


Xi Jinping’s remarkable ascendance to become China’s paramount leader is as extraordinary as are his aspirations for China’s global dominance.  Born into privilege, then condemned to labor on a rural farm during the Cultural Revolution, Xi’s life and China’s rise, are explored by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in a new, global primetime special.   China’s Iron Fist: Xi Jinping and the Stakes for America – A Fareed Zakaria Special will air at 9:00pm Eastern on CNN and CNN International on Sunday, Nov. 21.


For decades, Zakaria points out, Chinese leaders sought rapid modernization through economic initiatives, massive infrastructure projects, and social engineering programs to transform a poor, largely agrarian nation into a global superpower that now demands a reckoning with the world.  China, now a nation with the world’s second largest economy, has been led by an increasingly ruthless and authoritarian Xi Jinping for the last decade.  Under Xi, China has taken an aggressive global stance, brutally restricting freedoms in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, saber-rattling at Taiwan, and adopting an increasingly hostile anti-American posture.


Through discerning interviews with experts including Ian Bremmer (president/founder, Eurasia Group); Elizabeth Economy (author, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, 2018); Thomas L. Friedman (author, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, 2017; columnist, The New York Times); Victor Gao (vice president, Center for China and Globalization); Evan Osnos (author, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, 2014; New Yorker staff writer); David Shambaugh (professor, The George Washington University); and Lingling Wei (chief China correspondent, The Wall Street Journal); Zakaria warns that China may be entering a new, antagonistic phase as Xi seeks to shape his nation around his own philosophy of brutal nationalism.


The violent insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, DC, has apparently reinforced Xi’s notions that democracy is both dangerous and incompatible with China’s goals for stability, progress, and global supremacy in an orderly world.  Ultimately, Zakaria asks: as Xi consolidates power in – and for – China, what are the stakes for America?


During the Sunday, Nov. 21 premiere, China’s Iron Fist: Xi Jinping and the Stakes for America – A Fareed Zakaria Special will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo ( and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android.  The special will become available for 30 days beginning Monday, Nov 22, on demand via cable/satellite systems for subscribers, CNNgo platforms, and CNN mobile apps.

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