The inside story of China’s race to eradicate all extreme poverty by the end of the year 2020. With unprecedented access, filmmakers embed in China’s poverty alleviation campaign-revealing tens of millions of poor families with customized plans, and the millions of officials recruited and held accountable for the success of the program.
Director: Peter Getzels
Writer and Host: Robert Lawrence Kuhn
China vows to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of 2020. Can Beijing achieve its audacious goal now that China is taking a hit from Covid-19? What is China’s strategy and how is it different from President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” programs? Watch Emmy-nominated documentary, “Voices from the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty,” and hear a fascinating discussion documentary anchor Robert Lawrence Kuhn, director Peter Getzels, Chinese social welfare expert Professor Qin Gao, and UN social and economic policy expert Wenyan Yang. Award-winning journalist Dexter Tiff Roberts, author of “The Myth of Chinese Capitalism,” will moderate.
Robert Lawrence Kuhn is host and writer of China’s Challenges (SMG) and Voices from the Frontlines: China’s War on Poverty, a new documentary, and a longtime China-based journalist and advisor to the Chinese government. He was awarded the “China Reform Friendship Medal” by President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Government Friendship Award. For 30 years, Dr. Kuhn, with long-time partner Adam Zhu, has worked with China’s leaders and advised the Chinese government. He is a frequent commentator on CNN, BBC, CCTV, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, 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 and The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, which was China’s best-selling book of 2005. He is the host of Closer to China with R.L.Kuhn, a show on CGTN, China’s official English language channel . and Kuhn is also chairman of The Kuhn Foundation; and creator/writer/host of Closer To Truth, the long-running PBS / public TV series on science and philosophy. He has a Ph.D. in anatomy/brain research (UCLA) and an MBA (MIT).
Peter Getzels is an Emmy Award-winning, producer/director and cinematographer. Currently he is co-creator of the long-running science and philosophy series, Closer To Truth, now in it’s 20th season on PBS. He comes to filmmaking as an anthropologist, explorer, and mountaineer. Getzels is noted for high-concept, cutting-edge films that have been distributed around the world. Recent, award-winning theatrical documentaries include Zuzana: Music is Life, which was filmed in Prague and garnered two Best Documentary Audience Awards in LA and DC; The Penguin Counters, filmed in the Antarctic, also an Audience Award winner; and Harvest of Empire, which won Best of Independent Documentaries from Cine Golden Eagle, Best Documentary from the Imagen Foundation, and the ABC News Video Source Award from the IDA. Getzels has worked in China on many projects including Series Director/Producer of China’s Challenges with Robert Lawrence Kuhn (SMG), which won an Emmy in LA and twice won the China News Award. He has also produced and directed a feature-length documentary called Voices from the Frontlines: China’s War on Poverty, (produced in association with CGTN and Kuhn Foundation), about China’s poverty alleviation initiative. Getzels has a BA in Anthropology & Comparative Religion (Bowdoin College), a M.Sc. in Anthropology (London School of Economics) and an MFA (National Film and TV School, England).
Qin Gao is a Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Founding Director of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy. Dr. Gao studies poverty, inequality, social policy, migration, and child development in China and their international comparisons. She is also a faculty member of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
Qin Gao’s book, Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China, presents a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the world’s largest social welfare program, Dibao （低保）. Dr. Gao’s current research focuses on China’s efforts to eradicate rural poverty by 2020.
Wenyan Yang is the Chief of Global Dialogue on Social Development Branch in the Division for Inclusive Social Development of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. She is the Division’s focal point coordinating the support to the UN Commission for Social Development and supervises the preparation of the department flagship publication World Social Report.. She has many years of experience in social and economic policy analysis, and in providing substantive and technical support to UN inter-governmental bodies. Her recent work has focused on poverty, inequality, decent work and social protection, and inclusive development. Previously Yang worked on gender issues in the Division for the Advancement of Women. Currently she is the Principle Gender Focal Point of her department. She started her UN career as an economic affairs officer in the Macroeconomic and Development Policy Analysis Division, where she contributed to the major departmental publication World Economic and Social Survey and was part of the Secretariat to the ECOSOC expert body Committee for Development Policy, with the main responsibility to provide technical analysis for the Committee’s work reviewing the inclusion in and graduation from the list of Least Developed Countries
Dexter Tiff Roberts is an award-winning former China correspondent and author of The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, the Factory, and the Future of the World. As a Fellow at the University of Montana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. He is a regular commentator on the U.S.-China trade and political relationship. Previously he was China bureau chief and Asia News Editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, based in Beijing for more than two decades. He has reported from all of China’s provinces and regions including Tibet and Xinjiang, covering the rise of companies and entrepreneurs, manufacturing and migrants, demography and civil society. He has also reported from North Korea, Mongolia and Cambodia, on China’s growing economic and political influence. His recent reporting has focused on how legacy policies from China’s past, including its household registration system, are leading to growing inequality and social tension, and are holding back the country’s development. He has a BA from Stanford and an MIA from Columbia University.