The series, which was made for the Discovery Channel, examines the effects of Chinas growth on its people, politics, economy and environment. One of the most interesting revelations in the series concerns Chinas codependent relationship with the United States. They are our factory, and we are their consumers, says Bettag.
But in all seriousness, the fact that the U.S. isnt doing so well in the not-going-broke department directly affects our neighbors to the west. They hold a trillion dollars of American debt; when we run up a deficit were getting that money largely from China and Japan, he says. They would give anything in the world to convert those to euros, but they cannot switch that money into euros, because that would destroy the U.S. economy and they need a healthy U.S. economy for us to be able to buy their products at Wal-Mart.
Koppel on Discovery: The Peoples Republic of Capitalism premieres on the Discovery Channel on Wednesday, July 9, but you can get a sneak peek when portions of the series are screened today followed by a Q&A session with the producers. 7 p.m. Angelika Film Center, 510 Texas. For reservations and information, call 713-439-0265 or visit www.asiasociety.org. Free.
Thu., June 26, 7 p.m., 2008