16 episodes

USC U.S.-China Institute documentaries are an important part of our effort to inform public discussion of the many dimensions of U.S.-China relations. When the major networks are devoting little air time to coverage of China between 2006 and 2009, it’s clear there is a pressing need for reliable, timely, and research-driven video reports that explore critical topics in a compelling way.

These documentaries are produced under the supervision of USCI specialists. These include senior fellow Mike Chinoy, an award-winning Asia-based CNN journalist for two decades, and Craig Stubing, USCI multimedia editor. Students are immersed in the research, camerawork, editing, transcriptions, and logistics for these projects. USCI-affiliated students do not merely consume knowledge, they create it. Through their hands-on involvement, students build vital analytical and communication skills.

Our documentaries include original interviews with policy-makers, practitioners, and analysts, and feature archival and original news footage. They are supported by multimedia websites which offer fuller versions of interviews, key documents, maps, and interactive graphics as well as links to recommended resources. Our documentaries have been viewed via the web more than 100,000 times and have been broadcast on international satellite television. They have been screened in hundreds of U.S. and Chinese college and secondary school classrooms. Our documentaries have been endorsed by distinguished scholars and journalists and have been drawn upon by government officials on both sides of the Pacific.

USC U.S.-China Institute Documentaries (Audio Only) University of Southern California

    • News

USC U.S.-China Institute documentaries are an important part of our effort to inform public discussion of the many dimensions of U.S.-China relations. When the major networks are devoting little air time to coverage of China between 2006 and 2009, it’s clear there is a pressing need for reliable, timely, and research-driven video reports that explore critical topics in a compelling way.

These documentaries are produced under the supervision of USCI specialists. These include senior fellow Mike Chinoy, an award-winning Asia-based CNN journalist for two decades, and Craig Stubing, USCI multimedia editor. Students are immersed in the research, camerawork, editing, transcriptions, and logistics for these projects. USCI-affiliated students do not merely consume knowledge, they create it. Through their hands-on involvement, students build vital analytical and communication skills.

Our documentaries include original interviews with policy-makers, practitioners, and analysts, and feature archival and original news footage. They are supported by multimedia websites which offer fuller versions of interviews, key documents, maps, and interactive graphics as well as links to recommended resources. Our documentaries have been viewed via the web more than 100,000 times and have been broadcast on international satellite television. They have been screened in hundreds of U.S. and Chinese college and secondary school classrooms. Our documentaries have been endorsed by distinguished scholars and journalists and have been drawn upon by government officials on both sides of the Pacific.

    Assignment: China - China Watching

    Assignment: China - China Watching

    China Watching is the term practitioners and outsiders used to describe the effort that reporters, diplomats, and others excluded from China engaged in in order to understand what was happening in China and what it meant for the U.S. and the world. After Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist came to power on October 1, 1949 most American journalists and others working for U.S. news organizations left China. The U.S. did not recognize the new government and U.S. diplomatic posts were closed. By fall 1950, soldiers from the two countries were facing each other on Korean battlefields. China generally did not welcome journalists from countries with which it did not have diplomatic relations and the U.S. State Department ordered that U.S. passports were not valid for travel to China. These restrictions eased a bit by 1960s, but over the next two decades few journalists were able to report from China for U.S. news organizations. Those who did get in, by virtue of not being U.S. citizens or through special invitation were closely monitored. Most American reporting on China was done from the “listening post” of Hong Kong.

    • 55 min
    Assignment: China - "The Week That Changed The World"

    Assignment: China - "The Week That Changed The World"

    Richard Nixon's visit to China in February 1972 changed the course of history — reshaping the global balance of power and opening the door to the establishment of relations between the People's Republic and the United States.

    It was also a milestone in the history of journalism. Since the Communist revolution of 1949, a suspicious regime in Beijing had barred virtually all U.S. reporters from China. For the Nixon trip, however, the Chinese agreed to accept nearly 100 journalists, and to allow the most dramatic events — Nixon's arrival in Beijing, Zhou Enlai's welcoming banquet, visits to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City — to be televised live.

    The coverage was arguably as important as the details of the diplomacy. It profoundly transformed American and international perceptions of a long-isolated China, generated the public support Nixon needed to change U.S. policy, and laid the groundwork for Beijing's gradual move to open China to greater international media coverage.

    While the outlines of the Nixon trip are familiar, the behind-the-scenes story of how that momentous event was covered is much less well-known. This segment of Assignment: China focuses on journalists who went with Nixon and includes interviews with those officials who sought to shape the coverage. The Week that Changed the World contains previously unreleased footage of the Nixon visit, as well as interviews with journalistic luminaries such as Dan Rather and Bernard Kalb of CBS, Ted Koppel and Tom Jarriel of ABC, Barbara Walters of NBC, Max Frankel of the New York Times, Stanley Karnow of the Washington Post, and many others.
    --
    From the barriers of language, culture and politics, to the logistical challenges of war, revolution, isolation, internal upheaval, government restrictions and changing technology, covering China has been one of the most difficult of journalistic assignments. It’s also one of the most important. For over sixty years, what American correspondents have reported about China has profoundly influenced U.S. views of the country, and the policies of successive American governments.

    Interviews with these journalists are the core of Assignment: China which is illustrated by archival news footage and other images. This includes previously unseen home videos and other materials. In addition to interviews with those whose work was featured on American front pages and broadcasts, the series includes interviews with Chinese and American officials who sought to manage coverage of China or of specific events, such as Nixon’s historic 1972 trip.

    • 58 min
    Assignment China - Opening Up

    Assignment China - Opening Up

    It was 1979. The U.S. and China had just established diplomatic relations. For the first time since the Communists took power in 1949, the Chinese government allowed American journalists to be based in Beijing. Assignment: China, "Opening Up," the new documentary from the USC U.S.-China Institute, is their story.

    Based on extensive interviews with virtually all the pioneering reporters who opened the first U.S. news bureaus in the People's Republic -- including Fox Butterfield, Jay and Linda Mathews, Richard Bernstein, Frank Ching, Melinda Liu, Jim Laurie, John Roderick, and many others -- the documentary also contains interviews with Chinese officials who sought to manage the Western media, people the reporters covered, as well as rare archival footage, still photos and previously unseen home videos.

    This episode is one of several that make up an ambitious multimedia project exploring the work of U.S. China correspondents and the role they have played in shaping both American perceptions of the country and U.S. policy toward China. Assignment: China segments examine American coverage of China since the 1940s to today.

    From the barriers of language, culture and politics, to the logistical challenges of war, revolution, isolation, internal upheaval, government restrictions and changing technology, covering China has been one of the most difficult of journalistic assignments. It's also one of the most important. For over sixty years, what American correspondents have reported about China has profoundly influenced U.S. views of the country, and the policies of successive American governments.

    In what one scholar has characterized as the "roller-coaster ride" of U.S.-China relations -- from World War Two ally to Cold War enemy to common foe of the Soviet Union to "cuddly communists" embracing the market to emerging economic superpower and potential strategic rival -- American journalists have played a central role. At varying times, they have been cheer-leaders, demonizers, romantics and cynics -- struggling to understand a complex society with an opaque political system, buffeted by pressure from the authorities in both Beijing and Washington, not to mention pressure from their own editors and the remorseless deadlines of their profession.
    --
    From the barriers of language, culture and politics, to the logistical challenges of war, revolution, isolation, internal upheaval, government restrictions and changing technology, covering China has been one of the most difficult of journalistic assignments. It’s also one of the most important. For over sixty years, what American correspondents have reported about China has profoundly influenced U.S. views of the country, and the policies of successive American governments.

    Interviews with these journalists are the core of Assignment: China which is illustrated by archival news footage and other images. This includes previously unseen home videos and other materials. In addition to interviews with those whose work was featured on American front pages and broadcasts, the series includes interviews with Chinese and American officials who sought to manage coverage of China or of specific events, such as Nixon’s historic 1972 trip.

    • 52 min
    Assignment China - The Chinese Civil War

    Assignment China - The Chinese Civil War

    The Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had originally cooperated in seeking to wrest control of China from landlords and foreign forces. In April 1927, they split and began a decades-long civil war, interrupted only in part by Japan’s invasion. With Japan’s surrender and the failure of the American mediation effort, the two sides resumed their struggle in late 1945. This segment of Assignment: China examines efforts by journalists to report on this final four years of the war and its impact on Chinese society. It features archival photos and interviews as well as interviews with some of those who brought news of this battle for the world’s largest country to Americans via newspapers and magazines, news reels, and radio.

    • 29 min
    The Pivot

    The Pivot

    Barack Obama took office describing himself as America's first "Pacific President, and, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wound down, his administration made Asia a top priority for U.S. foreign policy. The move has been dubbed "The Pivot," and it has the potential to be one of the most enduring legacies of the Obama presidency.

    With three key elements - diplomatic, economic, and military- the Pivot, or "rebalancing," as administration officials now prefer to call it, is designed to bolster the U.S. position in the Asia-Pacific and enhance ties with key friends and allies. It has produced a flurry of high-level U.S. visits to the region, a new trade initiative called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and, most controversially, a series of moves to strengthen the American military posture.

    Administration officials insist that the Pivot is not directed at China. But the policy took on added urgency and much greater visibility in the past two years, against the backdrop of a series of increasingly assertive Chinese foreign policy moves. Meanwhile, many in Beijing have complained that the policy is actually designed to contain and block the rise of China.

    In a complex, volatile, and hugely important region, the Pivot is in fact a complex and still-evolving policy. This 22-minute film is based on interviews with leading officials, diplomats, and analysts, including Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, former U.S. Ambassador to China Stapleton Roy, former National Security Council Asia experts Jeffrey Bader and Kenneth Lieberthal, Chinese diplomat Jia Xiudong and others, as well as on-the-ground reporting. It offers a fascinating and detailed look at the Pivot and its implications for U.S. relations with Asia now- and in the future.

    • 22 min
    The Thaw: Taiwan and China's Changing Relationship - Part 1

    The Thaw: Taiwan and China's Changing Relationship - Part 1

    Economic ties between Taiwan and China have increased steadily and for several years now China has been Taiwan's top trade partner. Under the Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's administration (2000-2008) there was some progress in improving shipping and transportation links with the mainland, but on whole relations were decidedly cool. Chen's Democratic Progressive Party suffered massive defeat in the 2007 legislative elections and in the March 2008 presidential contest the Kuomintang's Ma Ying-jeou (马英九) trounced DPP candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷). Ma has worked to ratchet down tensions and the two governments have held several rounds of high level talks, forging major agreements to cooperate on law enforcements and product safety and, most important, to permit direct airline flights and to facilitate expanded trade. Taiwan leaders argue that the most recent measure, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that went into effect on September 12, 2010 will not only improve Taiwan trade with the mainland, but will open the door to trade deals with other Asian governments. Opponents led by Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) worry that the ECFA will reduce employment in Taiwan and exacerbate the income gap.

    This rapprochement has not been without significant bumps. The Taiwan government purchased several weapon systems from the United States in late 2008 and in early 2010. In each instance, the Chinese government protested this as an intrusion into its domestic affairs and a threat to its national security. Taiwan's Ma insists the arms sales help his government in its ongoing negotiations with the mainland.

    This new documentary from the USC U.S.-China Institute explores these issues and includes interviews with political advisors to Taiwan's two major parties, scholars from China, Taiwan, and the United States, and business people who are on the forefront of the combining Taiwan capital and know-how with Chinese labor to succeed in the global marketplace.

    • 17 min

Top Podcasts In News

More by University of Southern California