Advance screening of Discovery Channel's Koppel on Discovery: The People's Republic of Capitalism

June 9, 2008

CAMBRIDGE, MA—In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in China's Sichuan province and on the eve of the Olympics this August in Beijing, Discovery Channel Managing Editor Ted Koppel presents Koppel on Discovery: The People's Republic of Capitalism, a sweeping four-part series which examines modern China. An advance screening of the documentary, moderated by MIT Sloan School professor Yasheng Huang and followed by a question-and-answer session with some of the programs' producers, will be hosted by MIT's Center for International Studies. The event will be held on MIT campus on Wednesday, June 18, at 6 PM EST, at the Broad Institute auditorium. The public is invited to this event.

Ted Koppel describes Koppel on Discovery: The People's Republic of Capitalism as 'the most extensive project I've ever undertaken in its reporting and production.' In each hour-long program, Koppel explores America's economic relationship with China as well as capitalism's effect on the Chinese people. The series premieres on Discovery Channel on Wednesday, July 9, at 10 PM (ET/PT) and continues for the next three nights at 10 PM through Saturday, July 12.

"The U.S. would have an easier time disentangling itself from Germany or France than from the Chinese," said Koppel. "In fact, as one Chinese billionaire told me, 'China is the most business-friendly government in the world.' The kicker is, he's probably right. Chinese and American businesses are taking full advantage of it, and you have to wonder how either country would get along without the other."

Based in southwestern China's industrial hub of Chongqing, Koppel on Discovery: The People's Republic of Capitalism is one year in the making, with in-depth programs that explore the interconnected economies of the two countries. The individual programs focus on China's changing values as a result of urbanization, the role of the automobile in making the Chinese more mobile while saving some U.S. automakers from financial ruin, and the impact of corruption on China's economy and government efforts to reduce it.

Professor Huang and the Koppel on Discovery production team will be available for interviews at the event.

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The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.