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China’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades been nothing short of remarkable.

Of course there’s been a dark side to this growth. As China has built more factories, power plants and cars, it also became one of the most polluted countries on earth.

But since President Xi Jinping declared a ‘war on pollution’ in 2014, China has also made big strides in tackling some of the problems. It’s become a global leader in renewable energy from solar and wind, has cut smog in big cities and is planning tens of billions of dollars worth of environmental projects. 

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at China's war on pollution.


IISG via Flickr

In 1979 China's Communist Party implemented the “One-Child Policy” to slow the country’s population growth.

The policy was lifted in 2015, yet the effects of 36 years of strict population control will be felt for years to come. Today there are about 7.6 workers for every person over 65 in China. By 2050, fully 40 percent of the population could be over that age and the country is projected to have 100 million people 80 and over.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the emerging consequences of China's mass population control experiment.


James Cridland/Creative Commons via Flickr

Overpopulation has been debated since British economist Thomas Malthus famously warned in 1798 that humans could reproduce far faster than they could increase their food supply.

But since Malthus's time, world population has grown from 800 million to 7.5 billion today. Yet worries about overpopulation are back. In part that's because lots more people are on the way, complicating efforts to deal with problems like climate change and water scarcity.

The UN forecasts that in the near future the world will add about 83 million people annually. By 2100, world population will grow to 11.2 billion.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at the growth of human population and the debate about its risks.


AP Photo

North Korea has one of the worst human rights record in the world, but for women the situation is particularly acute. 

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are rarely punished, and many women who escape to neighboring China end up being trafficked into prostitution or sold as brides to Chinese men. 

Yet despite these challenges, North Korean women often have more economic freedoms than men. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women's rights in North Korea. 


Massive multiplayer online role playing games like "World of Warcraft" and "League of Legends" are wildly popular in China. 

But the popularity of online games has given rise to fears that the country has raised a generation of "internet addicts." One 2009 survey estimated there are 24 million young people addicted to the internet in the country. 

The concern spurred the opening of more than 300 internet addiction treatment centers - many of which resemble boot camps that use controversial techniques to try to cure patients. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at internet addiction in China. 


(U.S. Pacific Command/Creative Commons)

After World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that formally renounced war or maintaining military forces.

Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to change that. Bolstered by his party’s big win in recent elections, Abe wants to purge the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. The move could lead the country into future wars and is reopening a debate in Japan on the country’s role in the world. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Japan’s post-World War II pacifism and what a change of course would mean for relations with its Asian neighbors and the U.S.


Crystal Davis/World Resources Institute / Flickr

Overpopulation has been debated since British economist Thomas Malthus famously warned in 1798 that humans could reproduce far faster than they could increase their food supply.

But since Malthus's time, world population has grown from 800 million to 7.5 billion today. Yet worries about overpopulation are back. In part that's because lots more people are on the way, complicating efforts to deal with problems like climate change and water scarcity.

The UN forecasts that in the near future the world will add about 83 million people annually. By 2100, world population will grow to 11.2 billion.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at the growth of human population and the debate about its risks.


U.S. Dept. of Defense

Advances in technology have transformed modern armies.

But as robotics and artificial intelligence progress, so do the chances that militaries will be able to develop ‘killer robots’ to fight future wars.

In military jargon, these are known as autonomous weapons systems that may not only navigate and find targets without a human ‘pilot’ but also make the decision to use lethal force on their own.

This has spurred a lively ethical debate about whether and when computers may be entrusted with the decision to take a human life.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the development of ‘killer robots’ and the debate about their use.


AP Photo

Sixty-four years ago, a ceasefire brought a halt to the Korean War and left Korea divided.

But in recent weeks the frozen conflict on the Korean peninsula threatened to re-erupt over the North’s nuclear weapons program. President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and the North’s Kim Jong Il countered with a plan to launch an “enveloping fire” of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.

The showdown has tested the credibility of both leaders and raised anew the prospect of nuclear war in East Asia. On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at how such a war might come about and how a more stable peace could be achieved.


AP Photo

Homosexuality may not be illegal in China, but LGBT people in the world's most populous country often live their lives in the shadows.

By one estimate, as many as 80 percent of the country's 20 million gay men marry women due to social pressure. The phenomenon is so common it has its own word in Mandarin, "tongqi," or "gay man's wife."

But the views of LGBT people are changing, particularly in China's biggest cities. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Chinese views of gay rights are evolving.

This program originally aired Feb. 16, 2017.


AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species. 


EPA

Homosexuality may not be illegal in China, but LGBT people in the world's most populous country often live their lives in the shadows.

By one estimate, as many as 80 percent of the country's 20 million gay men marry women due to social pressure. The phenomenon is so common it has its own word in Mandarin, "tongqi," or "gay man's wife." But the views of LGBT people are changing, particularly in China's biggest cities. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Chinese views of gay rights are evolving.

AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species.


European Press Agency

Most people outside of Central Asia know little about the gas-rich desert nation of Turkmenistan.

The former Soviet Republic has virtually no independent media and just a handful of bookstores.  Foreign journalists and scholars are rarely granted visas to visit.

So it's no surprise that presidential elections this month in a state sometimes compared to North Korea are little more than a show staged to buttress President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at one of the world's most isolated countries and the cult of personality built around its leader. 


AP Photo

A key pillar of President Barack Obama's foreign policy has been the attempted "pivot to Asia."

The idea was that under President Bush, the U.S. expended enormous resources fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That focus was a detriment to American relationships with the surging economies of the Asia-Pacific region - an area expected to account for half of the world economy by the middle of this century.

Obama’s goal was to put new heft to the political, economic and military relations in places like China, Indonesia and Thailand – and avoid getting pulled into more conflicts in the Middle East or problems in Europe. As Obama prepares to leave office, this edition of Global Journalist examines whether this policy has succeeded – or amounted to little more than talk. 


AP Images

Fifty years ago Chinese Premier Mao Zedong ignited the Cultural Revolution, one of the strangest and most controversial periods in China's history.

The movement began out of Mao's concern the country was straying from Communist dogma. But it eventually became a purge that shut down the nation's schools and universities and led to the imprisonment and 'reeducation' of millions of people viewed as intellectual or bourgeois, including future premier Deng Xiaoping.

The revolution spurred an economic crisis and left about 1.5 million dead before it ended in the 1970s. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the Cultural Revolution and its impact on modern China.


AP

Republican nominee Donald Trump has commanded blanket media coverage since his run for U.S. president took off last year.

But it's not just Americans who have been glued to their screens when Trump's face appears. Government leaders and ordinary people around the world have taken notice as well.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we talk to reporters from around the world to gather the international reaction to Trump's proposals to ban Muslim immigration, cancel trade deals and consider pulling the U.S. out of NATO.


AP Images

Fifty years ago Chinese Premier Mao Zedong ignited the Cultural Revolution, one of the strangest and most controversial periods in China's history.

The movement began out of Mao's concern the country was straying from Communist dogma. But it eventually became a purge that shut down the nation's schools and universities and led to the imprisonment and 'reeducation' of millions of people viewed as intellectual or bourgeois, including future premier Deng Xiaoping.

The revolution spurred an economic crisis and left about 1.5 million dead before it ended in the 1970s. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the Cultural Revolution and its impact on modern China.


AP

For more than two decades, China has moved from strength to strength. Its economic miracle has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and dramatically increased the nation's global influence.

But recently China's growth has hit a major speed bump, weakening the Communist Party's major rationale for one-party rule . Meanwhile China faces new challenges in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea. 

On this week's Global Journalist, a look at the leadership of President Xi Jinping and how China's greater place in the world has led to greater domestic and international challenges.


AP

The Paris agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions has led to new hope that the worst effects of climate change may be avoided.

On this edition of Global Journalist, our guests analyze the climate agreement and discuss the prospects for keeping Earth's temperature from rising by 2 degrees Celsius, the point at which dramatic changes to the Earth are inescapable.


AP

Voters in Myanmar will go to the polls Nov. 8 to elect a parliament in what will be a milestone in the country's transition from military rule to democracy.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has drawn large rallies in the run-up to the poll. However it remains to be seen how the southeast Asian country's first freely-elected parliament will work with the country's generals.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we’ll preview the elections in Myanmar to see if they’ll help democracy finally take hold, and examine how the media climate there is shaping its politics.


Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

It’s planting time for Midwest farmers and much of the corn they grow will end up feeding livestock in China, which has become a huge importer of grain from the Corn Belt. That means the farmers can’t just select seeds based on which ones will get the best yield. They have to think about where their grain will be sold.

China has its own rules for the kind of crops it wants and when American farmers don’t comply, China can close off its market.

In 2013, China discovered in U.S. corn a genetically engineered trait that, although permitted in the U.S., had not yet been approved in China. Chinese regulators rejected American corn because some of it contained the trait.

“When you hear China has banned all US corn,” said Ward Graham, a farmer in South-Central Iowa, “a person in my position? That’s not good.”


Jon Chol Jin / AP

North Korea has long been a forbidden land for journalists, human rights advocates, and pretty much anyone who publicly disagrees with the regime’s philosophies and practices. But there have been more and more cracks in the facade, and people are beginning to share their stories with the rest of the world.

It's March. It's freezing. And there's half a foot of snow on the ground. When is this winter going to end?

AP

Our focus this week is on China and the restrictions it places on the media inside the country, and how it affects not only journalists but Internet users. From the Great Firewall to denying visas to critical foreign journalists, what is the future of freedom of expression in the world’s most populous country?

What's happening in Hong Kong?

Oct 2, 2014
hong kong protests
Wong Maye-E / AP Photo

On this week's show, we are looking at the protests in Hong Kong that have attracted worldwide attention. Students and citizens alike have been protesting China's decision to manage the region's 2017 general election. Back in the 1980s, the United Kingdom and China negotiated a treaty that ceded Hong Kong back to China. According to that treaty, the people who run Hong Kong's government are, eventually, to be selected through universal suffrage. In 2007, it was decided that the 2017 election would be the first to meet that criteria. Protesters say that what China has proposed, though, falls far short of universal suffrage. China wants to pre-select candidates for Hong Kong's government based on guidelines it sets, instead of allowing any candidate run for any position. This week on Global Journalist, we look at the protests and the situation in Hong Kong, and what it could mean for the region's future. 

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

 

Water experts worried about Asian carp may have new hope. They’re turning their eyes to China, where a carp-hungry populace may be the key for stemming the tide of the invasive fish.

Asian carp are taking over U.S. waterways, including the Mississippi River and tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out-compete native fish.

In China, carp is cheap and a common meal-time fixture. Now, a carp fishing industry is springing up along carp-infested U.S. waters and processors are exporting the U.S. problem fish to Chinese diners.

MU assistant professor finds rare fossils in China

Apr 14, 2014

MU assistant professor of geological sciences James Schiffbauer and his team have found rare 500 year old fossilized embryos in China.  Now, they are studying how those fossils stayed preserved.

Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week to ask Chinese regulators to get on the same page as the U.S. when it comes to evaluating genetically modified crops.

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