China – a nightmare country where spies really live in your house: CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night TV
China: a new world order
World War Speed
President George W. Bush's defense minister, Donald Rumsfeld, thought there were things we know and things we know we don't know.
But then there are many more things that we don't know that we don't know. For example, we have no idea of the depth of our own ignorance.
Some would say that this was especially the case with George W, a genius man with a brain like a colander.
The enormous extent of our ignorance of the world's most populous country was brought home to China: A New World Order (BBC2).
This was an hour of revelation about things that most of us couldn't possibly know, because we never thought we didn't know we didn't know. . . as Donald R might say.
Admittedly, the name Xi Jinping is known. It should be: he has been the president of China for the past six years. And although I did not realize that he came to power on a wave of popularity after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it makes sense.
This was an hour of revelation about things that most of us couldn't possibly know, because we never thought we didn't know we didn't know … True, the name Xi Jinping is known. It should be: he has been the president of China for the past six years. And although I did not realize that he came to power on a wave of popularity after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it makes sense
But as this documentary, the first of three, revealed time and time again, the gaps in our general knowledge about this vast country are more like deserts. For example, recent protests in Hong Kong have been reported extensively here, but I had no idea of ethnic riots in the northwest of the country, near the border with Kazakhstan.
A predominantly Muslim people, the Uighurs, live there in an autonomous area called Xinjiang. To suppress the unrest, President Xi 's government spied on thousands of families – Chinese agents sleeping in the house and helping themselves with food from the kitchen.
A million Uyghurs, some as young as 13, have been sent to "re-education camps" where they are being tortured to relinquish their culture. Women are forced to be sterilized with medication and children are brought up to be sent to orphanages.
The documentary used the expression & # 39; ethnic cleansing & # 39; not, but it wasn't: there was nothing clearer evidence of cultural brainwashing than the images of a classroom where dozens of men and women sang in English to If You & Happy And you know you're clapping your hands. That is torture, wherever you are in the world.
There were indications of these human rights violations from the start of the program, but the real evidence was only presented in the last 20 minutes. That was a mistake: the first half was too bland, too much like an educational film for students.
Weak apologies from Communist Party officials were boring looking, more sleep-inducing through the soundtrack of tinkling bowls and plucked strings.
For most people, the best chance to really learn something from this documentary was to tune in halfway.
Historian James Holland about World War Speed (BBC4) desperately wanted to tell us things we didn't know, but countless sensational shows have talked about this before
Historian James Holland about World War Speed (BBC4) desperately wanted to tell us things we didn't know, but countless sensational shows have dealt with this terrain earlier.
The digital channels History and Yesterday do these flash-bang documentaries about the Second World War so much better – all buzzing graphics and stormy reconstructions. James was convinced that German pilots were connected to the eyes with methamphetamine and that British troops were routinely given benzadrine tablets.
Anyone who watches a show about the Nazi command and broadcasts it almost every night in the more rare parts of your Freeview box has known for a long time that Hitler and his friends were taking pills like Tic Tacs.
And fans of the James Bond novels will remember that 007 was even more dependent on drugs than martinis. . . a habit that is undoubtedly left over from the war. All this talk about speed was slowly news.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) tvshowbiz (t) china