Skip to main content

tv   China Power and Prosperity -- PBS News Hour Presents  PBS  July 9, 2020 4:00am-5:00am PDT

4:00 am
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> the chinese communist party presents the central threat of our times. >> why do you keep cal this the chinese virus? >> it comes from china. that's why. it comes from china. >> reporter: a new era of confrontation. >> if these two turn out to be adversaries, i cannot imagine anything major in the world would be able to be solved. >> reporter: tensions over trains, trade and technology. >> make no mistake about it, china's current technological thrusts pose an unprecedented challenge to the united states. our economic future is at stake. >> reporter: ground zero for a
4:01 am
deadly global >> world depressions, 11. this falls in that category. reporter: but still, the fastest growth in world history. >> ino other country than china have you had such a great amount of change in such a short amount of time. >> reporter: the most importanti the strongest chine leader in half a century. bi ( translated ): if china wants to become strong country, it will need xi jinping. >> wwant total control. but they believe iression. >> reporter: tonight, china's power and prosperity >> this program was made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
4:02 am
♪ >> reporter: in beijing's great hall of the people, the people clap in unison for one man. xi jinping-- communist party general secretary, commander in chief, president of the people's republic of china-- says he's making china great again. anslated ): the chine nation has achieved a tremendous transformation. it has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong. it offers chinese wisdom and ach inese approach to solving the problems facing mankind. s >> reporter: nce mao zedong, communist china's founding father, has a chineseer leuggested so clearly the world could emulate not since has china had a leader as powerful as xi jinping. last year, we traveled to china twice countries, to try and understand today's china and its relationship with the u.s. we wanted to return,he pandemic grounded us and changed the
4:03 am
anhis global crisis, the two governments are decreasing and accelerating confrontation. >> reporter: in march, xi t jinping flwuhan, the epicenter of covid-19, to declare success. ( applause ) he congratulated health care workers and the public for winning the "people's war"ai agnst covid-19, another phrase borrowed from mao. from january to march, theme gove restricted the movement of more than 760 million citizens. ousands of neighborhoods, lock down. state planners mobilized and built two hospitals in less than two weeks. >> whave the confidence that we will eventually control the outbreak and win the battle, because we have very strong leadership under president xi jinping. >> reporter: even xi jinping leadership.vid-19 tested that and the virus that has killed hundreds of thousands worldwide brought u.s./china tensions to their worst point in half a century.
4:04 am
>> china didn't share all fo the ation it had. instead, it covered up hows dangere disease is. >> ( translated ): pompeo is n ed to making up lies as excuses for his sbehavior. >> i call it the plague from china. ( laughter ) the plague >> ( translated ): the international community generally disagrees with this selfish behavior that ts responsibilities and undermines internationacooperation. >> reporter: fori jinping, the state media narrative is that he providesis pple protection and prosperity. >> ( translated ): i sincerely hope that our folks here live a good life, a safe and sound life. i hope no one will be left behind in building a moderately prosperous society. i wish you all happiness and health. ( cheers and alause ) >> reporter: as soon as traveler restrictionslifted, he checked in with shop owners, workers, even young students. xi calls himself the country's "core leader," the same phrase mao used.
4:05 am
xi's travels recreate mao's countryside visits, and they celebrate mao as a hero who birthed communist china 70 yeari ago,gnoring the millions who feared mao as a tyrant. at the communist party's sentry, and the message iss tightly controlled. ofessor han qungxiang wrote the book literally on xi jinping government put him forward for us to interview. >> (anslated ): the country's development needs xi jinping, anipeople's happiness needs jinping. strong country, itneed xia big, jinping. >> reporter: we have a phrase, "the american dream," and theam ican dream is about personal prosperity. it seems like what xi jinping is talking about is a collective dream. >> ( transled ): the history of china has proved over and over that only when the country is strong, the nation revived, then all of the people can enjoy a happy life.
4:06 am
( gunfire ) >> reporter: it's not just happiness; xi's national revival calls for china to "stand tall in the east." he's dramatically modernized china's army, navy and air force, and opened up chi's first overseas base in djibouti, in east africa. ( soldiers shouting ) and most controversially, china claims almost all of the south china sea and has militarized tiny islands, flouting u.s. objections and international law. ( screaming ) xi jinping's china flaunts its strength to the world and the chinese public, as seen in china's highest-grossing film of all time. "wolf warrior ii" star and director wu jing plays lengfe , a former soldier whoco bes a rogue hero, launching a seeming suicide nsssion agaithe bad guys and teamingfe the day. chinese to win ( explosion ) >>ass me the flag. >> reporter: in xi'shina, the
4:07 am
good guys are the chinese military. ( gunfire ) >> sir, why are we hel these ( bleep ) idiots? >> reporter: the b t guy? >> welo africa, son. reporter: a violence-loving colonialist american. >> people li you will always be inferior to people like me. >> that's history. >> ( translated ): ichinese modern historychina has been bullied for a long time. when we are rich, oucountr can protect us. when we feel like we are in danger, we will be proteed by our country, not like before. >> reporter: during yronavirus, foreign minis spokesman jao lee gee-yen was dubbed "wolf warrior" for his aggressive style of criticizing the west, especially during the protests and civil unrest that followed george floyd's death. >> ( translated ): the whole world has watched as things unravel in the u.s. american politicians had better
4:08 am
get their own house in order. >> reporter: as wolf warrior diplomacy projects the communist party externally, xi jinping's china increases the party's primacy internally. >> ( speaking in chinese ) >> reporter: hong cheng works for the medical and high-techmp y tidal star and leads the company's party committee. >> (anslated ): today, we're going to study an article. please open the app "study xi,na strengthen c >> reporter: this is tidal star's party room, where xi jinping thought is written onwa th and employees are fed a daily diet if xi jinping and communist party thought on their phones. >> ( translated ): this app has rich content and timely updates. it not oy leads our company in long-term development, it also provides gdance to our daily works. >> reporter: is the role of the communist rty growing in china, including in private >> (atranslatedt):he party committee was started in 2009. since it was established we've
4:09 am
achieved many positive results-- uniting our employees, gathering our strength, and promoting our company's development. >> reporter: but thousands of miles away, in hong kong, submitting to xi jinping thought is unthinkable. this was the scene last year. this is one of hong kong'sain thoroughfares, and protestors have completely taken it ove and they use umbrellas not only for the sun, but also because it's the symbol of the democracy movement here. that this city hasnjoyed arems >> when xi jinping began to be even more aggressive in suppression, he is trying to, you know, build up his own chinese dream, which is a total control of people. >> reporter: lee cheuk yan is a former hong kong legislator. t people of hong kong are, the young-- especially younger worried, you know,china is trying to destroy hong kong as it is. and our identity, our culture, our rule of law, our
4:10 am
aspirational democracy, our frdom-- everything will be lost in the future. >> reporter: when you guys think of your identity, you identify yourselves as thhinese and from hong kong? or just hong kong? >> just hong kon >> just hong kong. ♪ >> reporter: hong kong's generation z wanted freedom so much, they wrote their own national anthem, witits own music video that went viral. ( choir singing ) "the time has come to wage a revolution," they sing. "freedom and liberty belong to this land." >> if we give up, we're just telling to china that hong kong people is the-- the same as mainland china. we are not going to let this happen. hong kong is not china. reporter: but xi jinping used covid-19 to accelerate steps that could make hong kong another chinese city.on in may, the na people's
4:11 am
congress, beijing's rubber stamp legislature, endorsed a pathwayh could effectively end hong kong's british rule of law. the vote was 2,878 to 1. to understand the impact, we sei up anotherview with lee cheuk yan. you are arrested argedak out, with subversion. when you go out on the street, you are being followed. to change hong kong from the role of law that we are so of, as i have said, to become rule by law and then rule of fear. >> reporter: lee helped organize a recent demonstratind has been arrested twice, charged with inciting an unauthorized assembly. ( crowd call and response ) beijing's second highest-ranking ofal said the legislation would maintain security and stability. what the communist party says, is that everything they do, including the national security law, is about the stability of the communist party.
4:12 am
and if thetability of the party were to be eroded, then there would be chaos. >> that's the myth by the chinese communist party control the people. x thjinping does not care how the world look at him. he had one wld perspective is that, you know, the china should be in the center of the world. he want to be that sort of ator. he feels that he can sort of, u know, command his-- his own power and conquer the world or make the world submit to his will. >> reporter: inside mainlandti agina, few cri are willing last year, we met ception. in the only place he felt comfortable: our hiael room. histzhang lifan wouldn't use xi jinping's name. >> ( translated ): because the communist party of china is unchecked, cruption is
4:13 am
widespread within the system. so, if he wants get rid of opponents, he can easily do so by finding evidence of their corruption. therefore, he was able to purge many political opponents with an unstoppable force. >> reporter: as many as two million party members ha been investigated for corruption. lawyers, who have represented activists,ave been disbarred. journalists who write critically have been thrown into prison. xi has replaced collective leadership with centralized >> ( slated ): the current leader has changed everhing. he first canceled the term limit of the country's presidency and then re-raised the idea that the party leads everything. as a result, some of the achievements of the political reforms of the 1980s no longer exist. >> reporter: xi's reversing those reforms, launched by his powerful predecessor deng xiopiang, is a topic even xi's
4:14 am
allies avoid. deng talked about, there e shouldn't essive concentration or leadership by one person. xi has removed term limits. why has he done that? >> ( translated ): this is not a problem yet. not the right time to talk about it. >> reporter: why are the needs of the coury so great that xi jinping needs more time? >> ( translated ): it's not the timeo answer this question. >> reporter: and then, he says tour off-camera minder: >> ( translated ): he just wants power longer to get more contro ( laughs ) >> ( translated ): i'm afraid. in front of me is the virus, and behind me is the legal a
4:15 am
administrative power of china. but as long as i live in this city, i will continue to report. >> ( translated ): maybe they won't go after me. it's possible. but i can't stay silent. if they don't come after me,th will come after you. >> ( translated ): today, i'm going to say something blunt. ( bleep ), i'm not even afraid id death! you think i'm aff the communist party? iz reporter: in january, c journalist chen qiushi traveled to,uhan, where covid-19 beg to expose what the government hid. for two weeks, chen documented problems in hospitals ere overwhelmed. >> ( speaking in chines ) >> reporter: fang bin was a
4:16 am
wuhan businessman when he filmed body bags in wuhan, left in a van. another of fang's videos was just 12 seconds' long... >> ( speaking in chinese ) >> reporter: ...a scroll of paper with the words "all citizens resist" and "power back to the people. the same day, he was arrested and hasn't been seen since. chen also disappeared and hasn't been seen since his last video. >> chinese people are now reaching an understanding that it's this government failed them. this disaster, by large, is both the local authority and the central authority-- bear a big responsibility for what's happening. >> reporter: xiao qiang is the editor in chief of the u.s.-se china digital times, a content suppressedina'sts state censors. t >> by containi coverage,
4:17 am
by providing the censorsanp, and denialinformation withhold, and propaganda, it stroyed the public trust that's very much needed at the time to ghting with the epidemic. >> reporter: the u.s. accuses china of a pattern of deception beginning in decber, when wuhan's central hospital doctors realized the illnesses they we treatingere not route. >> reporter: yanzhong huang is the council on foreign relations' senior fellow for global health. we spoke to him via zoom. >> reporter: dr. ai fen was wuhan central hospital'sdi ctor of emergency medicine. on december 30, she told her medical school classmates she'd been treating a new coronavirus contagious to humans, and sent patient samples to labs.
4:18 am
the scientists investigated the genome, and the doctors sounded the alarm about covid-19. but then, e doctors and scientistsere silenced. on new year's day, the national health commission put a gag order on scientists resee ching rus, and authorities detained dr. li wenliang andhe seven doctors, accusing them of spreading "rumors" s "causing adverial impact." and the lab that posted the first genome of the virus was. temporarily sh dr. ai said she wentd ome terrifieand told her husband, "if something goes wrong, ouyou can raischild." >> it's en 128 days since chinese dr. ai fen shared informatn on thenternet about a patient with sars-like virus. china could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousandso ofe worldwide. >> reporter: and while local authorities suppressed information about covid-19, th hosted this: a banquet with no social distancing for 40,000 people.
4:19 am
weeks later, xi jinpg gave the green light, and local and national chinese authorities quickly admitted that covid-19 was dangerous and spread between humans. that's when wuhan writer fong fong started a diary.e she wre new information was "completely at odds with what we'd seen and heard earlier," and "the virus roamed the city like an evil spirit, appearing whenever and wherever it pleases." she wrote the initialss suppn of information "transformed wuhan into a city of blood and tears, filled with endless misery. to my dear internet censors, you had better let the people of han speak out and express what they want to say!" ( screaming )f instead, weeksver-up and inaction turned into a draconian police authorpunished people for not wearing masks and dragged families forced quarantines.o local authorities, hoping to pre their loyalty to the top, feltmpowered to crack down.
4:20 am
is that a problem particular to xi jinping? >> reporr: after dr. li died, public outcry against the state crescendoe- "farewell, li wenliang," written here in snow. when a senior official visited wuhan, residents shouted out of their windows, "everything is fake." enin response, the governm doubled down and turned to disinformation. 1 on mar so-called "wolf warrior diplomat" zhao lijan, wrote on twitter, "it might be epidemic to wuhan."rought the
4:21 am
>> reporter: china then turned to deflection. zou yue is a lding anchor at chinese state tv. >> president trump and his team were not helpful their problem is a lack of serious commitment. >> reporter: chinese media blunted domestic criticism and showcased worldwide donations to hard-hit countries like italy. >> ( translated ): this savedit many lives, anas been absolutely necessary. for your help, thank you. >> reporter: the u.s. called china's mask diplomacyfort to mask culpability. >> they were the first country to know about the risk to the world from this virus, and they repeatedly delayed sharing that information with the globe.
4:22 am
china now making small sales ofc praround the world and claiming that they are now the white hat in what has taken place. >> reporter: both sides portrayed the confrontation as ideological. >> the central government in china plays the role of a champion, guide, coordinator, supervisor and guarantor of last sort. so, when i saw governor cuomo oi new york b the federal government to step in to get ventilators... >> what am i goi0 to do with ntilators when i need 30,000? >> ...i thought, wow, what a difference different systems can make. >> what do autocracies do in the face of crisis? heey become more aggressive. they deny people rights. they lie more. in the end, they do enormous harm to the people of their own nation andut the rest ofhe world at risk. >> reporter: but when new york governor andrew cuomo got supplies, he didn't get them from whington. >> the chinese government is going to facilitate the donation of 1,000 ventilatorshat will
4:23 am
come into j.f.k. today. >> reporter: china produces 50% of the world's medical supplies, anthat's now increasin ( ship horn blows ) >> reporter: that trade w started long before covid-19. this is shenzhen, china's silicon valley. across shenzhen's seg-e-market's ten floors, thousands of businesses sell locally andrn inionally. if you have a product that'sla beled "made in chi," chances over decades, china built a manufacturing base not only for
4:24 am
electronics, but all industriese that proviheap and reliable labor to american businesses. anghai general sports produces more than three milliokes every year-- 80% for the u.s. and it's a family business. meet c.e.o. lei ge, whose father was the company's founder. >> we work with our partners in the states as a fami that's why we can come so close. reporter: a phase one trade deal signed in january c some u.s. tariffs in exchange for chinese purchases, but not the tariffs on shangi general sports, nor did it answer the u.s.' fundamental concerns about trade. here's another family business we visited last year, shanghai general sports' chief customer:. kent bikeso., arnold kamler. >> my grandparents came over to the united states in 1907 and immediately opened a bicycle ore. i joined the company in 1972,
4:25 am
and so my family has bn in the bicycle business and nothing else for more than 110 years now. >> eporter: is there a point of saying, "hey, wait a minute, china is doing things that are unfair to our businesses and pushing back on chinese practices?" >> look, i applaud president this. making a point of i just don't agree with the manner that ngit's bandled. a factory in china for many years could lose 10% on their cost and still-- with the money they're getting barn from the gont, still make a profit. so, that's, that's pretty serious cheating. >> reporter: the u.s. says that "cheating" started as cheap copycats. sportscams, t gopros. new barlun, not new balance. wu-mart, not wal-mart. and then, the u.s. says it expanded to industrial theft. designs nuclear power plants. navigation satellite technology. billion-dollar american jets the u.s. says in just a few
4:26 am
decades, theft helped china make its military world-class and its companies technology leaders. >> that kind of technological advancement doesn't happen organically. >> reporter: jake parker is the vice president of the u.s./china business council, which advocates for american businesses in china. >> china's system is set up in such a way that the state has access to information that companies would consider to be trade seets. president trump has raised issues that ha been an irritant in the relationship for ata very, very long time, have not been adequately addressed by the chinese side. and frankly, those issues go to the core of how china's economic system operates. >> reporter: the chinese government protects key industries from foreign competion, especiallyci arti intelligence. >> ( translated ): we hope ourla products can r human labor in industries and factory enepronments. >>ter: exrobot is working
4:27 am
on human-like a.i. robots. they can mimic facial pressions, respond to questions... ( speaking in chinese ) ...even host a tv show. ( speaking in chinese ) exrobot presiden yang dongyue: heir mainslated ): function is to communicate with pele, so a good appearance is a must. if the robot is very good- looking, like a pretty lady or a handsome man, people wl feel more pleasant when talking with them. >> reporter: china is racing to become the global center for a.i. by 2030 and is spending $150 billion to do so. the u.s. says companies like exrobot are hiding how muchrn gont aid they receive, but these companies are growing rapidly and drive china's unprecedented economic boom.
4:28 am
their pacing is precise, their spacing is seamless, and their pours are perfect. this is china's first butler academy. their future employers will be members of china's new rich. nain communist china, billes are built faster than anywhere else. there are now more billionaires in beijing than in new working in technology, real estate, and pharmaceuticals. >> in no other country other than china have you had such a great amount of change in such a short amountf time.r: >> reporte sara jane ho knows all about the privilege and pra.sure of being rich in ch >> average price here is about $1,000 u.s.ex not tonsive at all. >> reporter: she's been dubbed china's "millennial martha stewart" and founded the country's first finishing school. >> sometimes i let f come and obsee our classes, and
4:29 am
they say, "wow, your students are so you , they really don't look like people who need etiquette." well, you know wha w princess diat to finishing school. did she go because she was spitting on the street? no! >> it's not because she was rude; it's because, you know, she went to be a better version of herself. there was a part of chinese history, there was no education. you know, you couldn't go to school, college, etc. but now, chinese are travelling abroad, emigrating abroa sending their children abroad. and so, as a result, starting i'd say five years ago, there was a great needunor chinese to rstand an international code, how to be a citizen of the world. >> mmm. taste's so good. >> reporter: xi jinping has recently cracked down on this conspicuous consumption, but the country' class, and fast. new >> the affluent right now in chin they're all new money. there's no old money in china
4:30 am
because ofistorical reasons. a lot of people were very poor. i mean, everybody was very poor up until the '90 >> reporter: accumulating wealth in communist china was once considered counter- revolutionary. mao zedong came to powern 1949, vowing to eliminate class and ( newsreelrator speaking in chinese ) vimao pursued his utopian on of communism. affluent families lost their wealth, and many lost their lives. tens of millions died om famine, and almost 90% of the population lived in extreme poverty. c thatnged in the late '70s and '80s when deng xiaoping loosened state control over china's economy and permitted private enterprise. china grew faster than any country ever has, into t world's second-largest economy. but all of that is now in >> china out with g.d.p. data overnight, showing the firstof contractiohe economy since began publishing the data
4:31 am
back in 1992. >> reporter: the economic plungd cay coronavirus not only threatens the country's economic gains but also xi jinping's plan to eradicate povty this year. the world bank says 24%-- or 300 w million people-- live bee poverty line of $5.50 a day, and one of xi's key stimulus programs to help lift rural chinese out of poverty and to expandhina's influence around the world is the belt and road initiative. the belt and road iniative is one of xi jinping's signature policies, and when xi jinpg calls world leaders to the belt and road forum in beijing, the show up. >> ( translated ): connectivity is the main focus of china's opening up. >> reporr: 2,000 years ago, the ancient silk road helped china spread goods, ideas and culture all the way toe. today, china aspires to recreate
4:32 am
a "maritime silk road" of ports and an "economic belt" of roads, pipelines, and railways acrossou 70 cries, including a network of railroads in indonesia. today, indonesia welcomes belt and road investment. outside bandung, the commuter train is old and slo t now, cuttinghrough the capital, jakarta, s adonesia's tunnel for a high-speed train. and the engineers and managers who lead this $6 billion project are chinese. w reporter: with new industry, new employment, oduction? >> yes. yes, indeed. >> reporter: ionesian minister luhut binsar pandjaitan dreams of traveling like the chinese.
4:33 am
>> reporter: like the trn we rode last year from hong kong to the city of shenzhen on the chinese mainland. >> we will soon arrive in shenzhen-bei. >> reporter: welcome to china! in 20 years, china has gone from no high-speed rail to longest high-speed rail network in the world, thanks to state- owned enterprises. the rails, the electricity, the telecommunications-- all produced by enterprises owned mainly by the state. and then, there's the majority state-owned baosteel. baosteel is so big, it has its own ports-- four of them-- outside anghai. huang weiliang directs baosteel's strategic planning. how important is the belt and i rotiative to the company? >> ( translated ): for the steel indu initiative involves some key projects like ports, railroads,i bridges, ss, and power grids.
4:34 am
demand for steel products. >> reporter: xiao weiming leads the office in the chinese ministry that oversees b.r.i. e encourageated ): chinese companies to go out of china to enhance their producti capability. in return, we can use the increased government revenue to improve come level of some poor areas. this is important. >> reporter: but the belt and road initiative doesn't only expand chinese infrastructur >> well, china is a big power now, and big powers normally cent to expand their influ( applause ) >> reporter: mahatir mohamadrv as malaysian prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and again until earlier this year, at the age of 92. when he came to power, mahatir froze b.r.i. projects. >> everything is imported, mostly from china. workers were from china.d
4:35 am
all the parts terial were from china. that means that malaysia doesn't get any benefit at all. at reporter: belt and road projects can com steep price. sri lanka privatized a port when it couldn't afford debt payments to a chinese bank. to build belt and road railroad with chinese loans, kenya agreed to apply chinese law inside the country. and to pay for south america's largt dam, ecuador is sellingva 80% of its mosable asset, oil, to china at a discount. >> these tnsactions aren't ir. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo and the trump administration have aggressively initiative and accheand road program of being corrupt and reducing countries' sovereignty. >> they're showing up with money in brown paper bags. they're putting debt on nations that they can't possibly repay so that they'll ultimately be able to exert political influence. >> reporter: what's your response to that criticism, that the belt road initiative contracts are debt tps and
4:36 am
aren't transparent? >> ( translated ): chinese companies won the bidding, and other foreign companies did not win. and the reason is simple: foreign companies and workers are not as hard-working as the chinese. se>> reporter: but don't t chinese companies get advantages not because they're just hard workers, but because they are funded and many of these loans are backed by the chinese state? >> ( translated ): i cannot say it's the chinese government's support. china's financial institutions will provide financing only if they deem the projects areof able. we do not make investment we chinese are not stupid. >> reporter: the u.s. is tryingo ncrease its own investments counter china, buts having to play catch up.
4:37 am
>> reporter: in china, the technological champion is huawei. >> this is our new p-30 pro. >> reporter: the company is a $100 billion phone and technology juggernaut. can you describe the visn of this company as you see it? >> we want, you know, bring the communication to every continent, to every family, to every house, to every people. >> this is the world first one, 5g... >> reporter: last september, huawei launched the world's first chip with integrated 5g, or fifth generation phone technology. 5g will dramatically speed up phones, is designed to connect everything around us, will instantly, and transform entire cies. >> we're now walking on the floor that tches everything in your city. >> reporter: last julyf digital information officer edwin diender showed me what huawei cal "safe city"-- af database oery citizens'
4:38 am
face, every car, every license plate, tracking everyone by cell phones, and artificial intelligence that combines all the surveillance into one package. c >>ple of years ago, all these different systems were different systems, andct discon systems. so, the first thing that has changed is that ale these things ing able to integrated and combined with artificial intelligence. >> reporter: huawei and other chinese telecom giants are building 5g and smart cities in more than 65 countries. pbs newshour teams reported from three continents and heard praise from police and criticism from human rights advocates that chinese technology facilitates political repression.>> translated ): there will be no letup in this campaign. >> reporter: filipo president rodrigo duterte has launched what he cas a war on drugs. he turned to china for help. in 2016, duterte traveled to beijing to secure chinese government loans that allowedip the phnes to buy a chinese safe city.
4:39 am
>> in terms of the benefit of this project to the country, it's immeasurable. >> reporter: jonathan malaya is the philippines' department of interior and local government's undersecretary. >> if we are to ensure the safety and security of our countrymen, we must use every tool availle. >> reporter: but thego rnment's opponents call the r on drugs an extrajudicial murderous ackdown that's t killed tens ofhousands. and those chinese tools can enhance government suppression. >> basically, what aafe cities prisram is all about increased electronic andca technolosurveillance. >> reporter: the philippines house political affairs officer, francisco ashley acedillo, calls huawei a front for the chinese communist party. >> an intelligence andity law passed recently by china, whh requires all-- everyon china, both public and private-- to assist intelligence agencies
4:40 am
and authorities in interligence gathin >>eporter: and a new government 10,0 miles to the west, ecuador, found those chine intelligence tools were used against its own citizens. former president rafael correa built a national netrk of surveillance called ecu-911 with nechinese technology and c government loans. the current ecuadorian government says e.c.u.-911's surveillance was built with a backdoor to ecuador's intelligence agency that targeted its political opponents, like retired colonel mario pazmino. a single chinese-produced camera oks right into his livin room. >> ( translated ): we were living in an era of government terrorism in which technological tricks are used to curtail people's freedom of expression. they choose ch because china had already developed a monitoring system. their gift is a trojan horse,
4:41 am
designed to control everythingie in s. official talking to me called this "authoritarianism in a box." what's your response to that? >> what-- what do you want me to ay? i think ito "liberation in a box." i think it's also "city management and being v dy efficient ly operations in a box." >> reporter: so, can this be is it being used-- in for surveillance? >> well, what you're looking at is an element of intelligence video survllance, which is common technology that's available worldwide. like every technogy, it can bert used in n ways. >> reporter: does that conrn you, that some of these countries might be using this... >> personally, yes, of course. i'm-- i'm a person just like everybody else is a person. i have my own concerns and my own views, and, yes, of course, that is a concern. >> reporter: huawei's considered such a threat, the u.s. military banned the company and the trump administration blocked u.s. companies from selling any technology to huawei. the u.s. is trying to block is that really havy impact?
4:42 am
>> there's no major impact. all our major customers choose-- still stay with huawei. i think that is the fact. >> reporter: nowhere is chinese technology me pervasive than in china. during the covid-19 outbreak, wuhan shut down. china's biggest holiday, previously bustling city street stiet.e in aprilgovernment lifted restrictions, but movement is tightly controlled by technology. to enter a supermarket, residents have to show a green code on their phone. the codes appear inside pular apps. users enter their own health informatio and the government tracks where everyon pgoes via cellhone. green means you're healthy. yellow means contact with an infected person in the last two weeks.
4:43 am
red means confirmed positive or owinsymptoms. all of this information is shared with local police. >> (dtranslated ): i believe the people who have yellow or red codes are either in hospitals or quarantined at home. they are definitely not running around outside. those who are able to come out all hold a green code. i feel safe. >> reporter: the chinese government says technology keeps citizens safe and makes china modern. >> china is quite unique because it's been a rapidly developing country, so have very uneven distribution. technology helps to bridge those gaps.>> reporter: jessica tan ie co-c.e.o. of ping an, whose building towers over shenzhen. ( gong crashes )pi an boomed financially into the world's second-largest insurance company, but it'sin celebrby turning old insurance into new >> micro-exon recognition... >> reporter: one ping an
4:44 am
ngftware determines whether loan applicants are lbout their identity by examining more than 90 distinct expressions. >>ometimes when you are nervous, there are these microexpressions that people would do. >> the system identifies abnoal emotions. >> verifying the person who they are supposed to be is quite accurate. i think it's now already better than the human eye. >> reporter: and when 1.4 billion sets of human eyes are irl entering data into the phones, that's big data-and new data. >> only about 35%-40% of them may have ever borrowed from a bank before, rig? so, then, the rest of them who hasn't borrowed before, you know, you don't really have a good credit record, right? it's actually zero re-- credit record. ( horns honking ) >> reporter: ping an aessed its customers by developing a social credit score, based on all the data from users' phones. like ping an, the government is now converting people's data into social credit scores.
4:45 am
in shenzhen, cameras watch this intersection. ( horn honking ) if people jaywalk, they're are displayed on this screen,ces and their credit scores are docked. do you think that because that mera is there, more people cross legally?at >> ( tran ): of course! they are afraid to be seen doing something inappropriate, se they will chaeir behavior. >> ( translated ): if you jaywalk, it reduces your credit score. for example, if you cross the ght, your score would be reduced by two to three. >>eeporter: the credit scor system is so important, there's even a communist party-produced national credit magazine. wu x chief.the editor in >> ( translated ): this systemn has becomefective measure in our social governance. for example, on the bus, people with regular scores willay regular price, and people with good scores only pay 80% of that. >>iseporter: when i look in magazine i see an-- an honor
4:46 am
list in red; and then, in black, a black list. >> ( translated ): those on the red list are people who have trustworthy behavior. those on the black list are people whose behaviors are n trustworthy. >> reporter: does it work? does rewarding people who act well and punishing people who well?adly make more people act >> ( translated ): of course, it works. ( speaking in chinese ) >> reporter: something aboutat th question made hermf uncoortable. she anher staff walked out ofrv the inw and the newsroom. edt our microphos were still rolling and recoheir conversation about my questions.
4:47 am
>> reporte ten minutes later, she did come back to finish the interview. everything okay? >> ( chuckles ) >> reporter: she said everything was okay, but the government's critics say everything is not okay because they sachina's big data is becoming big brother. are you, as a constant critic of the government, under surveillance? >> ( translated ): of course. we can feel this surveillance all the time. the chinese authorities use aor neof cameras throughout cities, facial recognition systems, as well avarious mobile phone apps to monitor individuals. surveillance is indeed omnipresent. >> reporter: that surveillance happens autotically and insttaneously. every da chinese citizens send more than 45 billion messages on wechat, the country's most popular messaging service. if you type in something rensitive, like a reference to the tiananmen sqassacre in mandarin, the recipient never
4:48 am
ceives it. >> ( translated ): sometimes, my wife and i suddenly can'tnt cot each other. i ticed that whenever foreign media repoers were trying to het upnterviews with me, police would always show up downstairs. >> reporter: and the chinese surveillance to taat unblinking specific muslim minority who's namoved from xjiang, chito turkey's largest city, istanbul. >> ( translated ): i never imagined this could happen in the 21st century: incent people subjected to cuffs on their hands, shackles, and black hoods over their heads. >> reporter: gulbahar jalilova lives alone in a small apartment. the injuries she suffered in chinese detention three years ago have healed, but she hasn't gotten over the memories. >> ( translated ): i saw them, 14-year-old girlto
4:49 am
80-yeaold women. they take them for interrogation. they would come back, and their bodies were bruised, their heads swollen. after three months, they put a black hood over my head and took me away. >> reporter: abdusalam muhemet and every uyghur we spoke to live in self-imposed exile e because theyo scared of the chinese government to go home. can you describe for us what that detention center was like? >> ( translated ): they brought everyone in there because theysu called uicious. there is unimaginle oppression inside. every day they'd toss us a little bread andater so that we didn't die, and every day they would interrogate 15 or 20 alof us with unbearable bry. their freedom.e who have lost we became their target because we'd studied religion and beruse we had influence in
4:50 am
society. they locked us up in jail. then, after takings to a camp, they'd tell us we hadn't done anything wrong, that they were just educating us. ( students reciting in unisonr:) >> reporhe chinese say they are re-educating uyghurs by teaching them mandarin chinese and vocational skills. this is chinese state media video. the detainees we interviewed, and international researchers, say it's staged and scripted, a cade that hides what's really happening. >>translated ): the ten hours of class they would teach one day were exactly the same as the ten hourthey would teach the next. the chinese were trying to change our minds, our faith, our beliefs. it was a plot to force us to renounce our religion. >> reporter: and then, there are the reports of forced la international researchers found the chinese government coerced hundreds of thounds of uyghursto become laborers in factories. many of these factories makes goodfor western companies.
4:51 am
shouting, explosion the chinese call muslim uyghurss itrem and terrorists. in 2009, uyghursxinjiang's capital rioted. uyghur militants affd with al qaeda took credit for this 2013 attack in tiananmen square that killed two people and china blames male and female uyghur militants in southern china for this 2014 knife assault that killed more than 30. those attacks are claimed by uyghurs who call xinjiang "east turkestan," whh self declared independence in the early 20th century.ys china t's administered xinjiang since 60 b.c., and foreign ministry spokeswoman hua chunying says china is fighting separatists. >> ( translated ): the problem in xinjiang is the issue of counterterrorism and de-extremism, noreligious and human rights issues. >> reporter: but in xinjiang and a neighboring province, residents say china has launched a campaign against islam. the government has partially or completely destroyed at least a dozen mosques, and uyghurs say
4:52 am
the chinese ar't only targeting their religion. in istanbul, uyghurs describe how china criminalized uyghur language and all uyghur culture. the u.s. has called that campai "cultural genocide." ♪ china even banned uyghur music. ♪ yusup sulayman sings about a culture that's been lost and a people who've been silenced. ♪ >> ( translated ): ty're disappearing our famous artists, composers, and songwriters a befoone else. they're disappearing our intellectuals. they've burned what they wanted to burn, and scrubbed what they nted to scrub. >> reporter: in xinjiang's capital, a huge statue of chairman mao looms oe city. in multiple interviews across ngina, we heard the same t china is fighting terrorism and fake news. su ge is a fmer ambassador and former head of one of the chinese foreign ministry's
4:53 am
think-tanks. >> china and united states, i think that we feel the same about the extremists. we also have this danger of the best way ticate radicalism is to provide education, to ovide development. >> reporter: there have been cases of imprisonment tt are on a mass scale-- not just of terrorists or suspected terrorists, but actually entire families and entire cities. >> oh, well-- well, us, that's just somebody's trying to ng write a-- a story aut it. >> reporter: meayou think they're fiction? >> yeah. you ask them how many policemen have been injured, and just by the terrorists? >> reporter: but gulbaharli va is not a terrorist, and she can't forget those still in detention. >> ( translated ): i see them all in front of me, as if i were
4:54 am
still in the camp myself. ( reading names >> reporter: after she was released, she wrote down all the names of the women in her cell... >> ( reing names ) >> reporter: ...the prisoners in one of thounds of cells across njiang, china. >> ( reading names ) >> reporter: so, what's the future of u.s./china relations? where do we go from he most likely, even less collaboration and more confrontation. china watchers call this the worst moment in u.s./china relations since relations were restored in the 1970s. tensions that already existed are accelerating. confrontations over technology, trade in the south china sea,
4:55 am
the information war over covid-19, and china is center stage in the u.s. election. on the shanghai boardwalk, longe re social distancing, i heard the hope china and the es. could cooperate, and fear of what could be at stake. >> ( translated ): if china and america can try to understand each other, then that would be best, ultimately allow us toig avoid a to the death" mentality. el reporter: these two countries, whoseionship will help determine so much of our future, are drifting apart. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media accessroup at wgbh
4:56 am
>> this program was made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> you're watching pbs. >> "pbs american portrait" is a platform where people can go to in order to share their experiences. to join in, go to join us and be a part of history.
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
breakfast! order! der in the cou! you will not raise your voice in my court. i don't have all day; i've got to get to school! i can hear you just fine. yot have to raise your voice. what's this? the plan. i can't read this, grandma -- judge evans. don't tell me you can't read! i don't know what this is. and you call yrself a lawyer. no, i don't. i'm your granddaughter, deena. we're at home -- it's 7am. can you eat your bran for me this morning? ♪ dr. leuthardt: alzheimer's. memory. stroke. paralysis. brain tumor. suery. epilepsy. seizures. it's natural to simplify these complex, and let's be honest, scary conditions down to their most identifiable symptoms or outcomes.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on