NEW YORK, July 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, July 31, 7:00 pm, PBS SoCal, the Los Angeles-based PBS flagship station serving 19 million diverse people across Southern California, will premiere "Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty" — the inside story of China's race to eradicate all extreme poverty by 2020. Hosted and written by Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a renowned China expert and recipient of the China Reform Friendship Medal, and executive produced by Adam Zhu, "Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty" was produced by a joint US-China production team, led by award-winning director Peter Getzels. The documentary provides a textured and intimate portrayal of China's historic anti-poverty campaign by following five cases that highlight China's poverty alleviation strategy.
"We had unprecedented access as we traveled across China embedded in their poverty alleviation programs, meeting villagers, local officials, and special monitors," said Kuhn, who hosts the weekly series "Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn" on CGTN. "During the production, we discovered every poor family had a targeted plan to lift each above the line of absolute poverty — that's millions of poor families with customized plans, each monitored regularly and reported centrally. We witnessed democratic village meetings voting to determine who was and was not below this line of absolute poverty. We watched local officials being held accountable, their careers at stake."
China's economic development lifted more than 750 million people out of poverty, but for more than 100 million, the intractably poor, who were often living in remote and mountainous regions, economic development was not enough. The film, co-produced with CGTN's "Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn", shows how President Xi Jinping introduced 'targeted poverty alleviation', making the remarkable statement that poverty alleviation is his most important task.
Targeted measures to eliminate poverty include individualized procedures and customized programs classified into "five methods" to lift poor families out of absolute poverty; third-party evaluations to assure accuracy and honesty; and party secretaries at five levels of local government (provincial, municipal, county, township, village) coordinating their work to combat poverty.
"We discovered the impact on Chinese society of President Xi riveting words: 'I have spent more energy on poverty alleviation than on anything else'," Kuhn said; "Xi's commitment and determination frames the film, informing its open and close. Xi has made it clear that China cannot achieve its goal of becoming a 'moderately prosperous society' by 2020 — which is China's first national goal — if there would still be people living below the line of absolute poverty. Moreover, Kuhn added, "Party officials cannot be promoted unless and until they fulfill their specific, numeric poverty alleviation goals."
"Directing an international team in remote parts of China was a challenge," noted Director Peter Getzels, an anthropologist and Emmy winner, "but our cross-cultural collaboration led to deep insights about how this extraordinary program works. We took a cinematic approach and edited the film in a way that shows — more than tells — thereby enabling people to present their own stories as candidly as possible."
"Poverty alleviation is exceedingly important throughout Chinese society, and the stories are fascinating and inspiring," said Executive Producer Adam Zhu. "That's why we are proud to present this special film celebrating China's accomplishments on its 70th anniversary."
PBS SoCal – Presenting Station
PBS SoCal is the presenting station for national distribution of "Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty" to the PBS system (about 350 PBS stations). In support of the national broadcast, PBS SoCal will conduct a national outreach and public relations campaign.
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ABOUT PBS SOCAL
PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
China Global Television Network, or CGTN, is an international media organization launched by CCTV on December 31, 2016. It is now part of China's predominant radio and television broadcaster, China Media Group. As a multi-language and multi-platform media organization, CGTN operates in television and online. It also incorporates a video news agency CCTV+. Headquartered in Beijing, CGTN has an international team of professionals based around the world with production centers located in Nairobi, Washington D.C. and London. CGTN's six TV channels – English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Documentary – are available in more than 170 countries and regions worldwide. CGTN, a pioneer of media convergence in China, also delivers content through digital platforms. CGTN Digital is accessible via CGTN.com, CGTN mobile applications, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and other social media platforms, with over 150 million followers across the globe. The CGTN media convergence center endeavors to create a world-leading news content brand, integrating various media assets, technologies and management resources.
ABOUT THE KUHN FOUNDATION
The Kuhn Foundation (KF) advances understanding and meaning of science and philosophy, facilitates international understanding of China, and promotes good relations between the US and China. KF co-produces, with CGTN, the weekly program "Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn". KF co-produces, with Shanghai Media Group, "China's Challenges" (three seasons), which won China News Awards, Emmy (Los Angeles), Telly Awards. KF produces "Closer To Truth", the public television series on PBS stations and website featuring world-renown scientists and philosophers exploring the big questions of cosmos, consciousness and meaning (www.closertotruth.com).
ABOUT ROBERT LAWRENCE KUHN
Robert Lawrence Kuhn is a public intellectual and renowned China expert. He was awarded the "China Reform Friendship Medal," honoring 10 foreigners over four decades; five are living, Kuhn is one of two Americans. For 30 years, Kuhn, with his long-time partner, Adam Zhu, has worked with China's leaders and advised the Chinese government. He is a commentator on CNN, BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, and a columnist in South China Morning Post and China Daily. He is the author of over 30 books, including How China's Leaders Think (featuring President Xi Jinping) and The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin (China's best-selling book of 2005). He is the host of "Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn" (CGTN) on Chinese politics, economics, society and foreign affairs, featuring discussions with China's thought leaders and decision makers. He is an international corporate strategist and investment banker; chairman of The Kuhn Foundation; and creator/writer/host of Closer to Truth, the long-running PBS / public TV series on science and philosophy (produced/directed by Peter Getzels). Kuhn has a Ph.D. in anatomy/brain research (UCLA) and an MBA (MIT).
Credits for Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty
Host and Writer: Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Director and Producer: Peter Getzels
Unit Directors: Fan Lu, Niu Xiaoyu
Editor: Catherine Shields
Director of Photography: Ning Nan
Executive Producers: Liu Cong, Adam Zhu, Michelle Merker (PBS SoCal)
Producers: Liu Changying, Chen Guang
US Production Services provided by: Getzels Gordon Productions
For PBS SoCal:
President and CEO: Andrew Russell
Supervisor: Jiang Heping
Party Building Books Publishing House
The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development
Produced by The Kuhn Foundation and PBS SoCal in association with CGTN
SOURCE The Kuhn Foundation