November 20th, 2012
11:05 AM ET

On the future of news

Imagine news as a filter in the age of information overload.

News Stream producer Ravi Hiranand recently spoke to The Verge on the future of TV news:

"A TV news show has a finite length. So I can’t show you every single photo of Superstorm Sandy’s power. I have to select the most powerful ones, the most important ones, and I can try to explain to people who might not necessarily know anything about New York why a particular image is so striking."

If you too are a media junkie, read on. It's a great discussion piece.


November 15th, 2012
02:40 PM ET

China's "effective second fiddle?"

China just had its own November of change.

Earlier Thursday in Beijing, an elite group of seven men were named to the Politburo Standing Committee - the top decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party.

A lot has been reported already on Xi Jinping, the new General-Secretary of the Party and the presumed next President of China. But what about Li Keqiang, the man destined to be China's next Prime Minister?

Today on News Stream, I spoke to Victor Gao - a former top official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry (and English interpreter for the late Deng Xiaoping) about Li and the prospects for reform in China. Gao said the leader has some powerful patrons but must learn to be an "effective second fiddle" to Xi Jinping. As for change, the Standing Committee as a group must come up with solutions for new problems.

Achieving both stability and solutions in an ever-dynamic and demanding China. It will be delicate dance for China's new leadership.

November 14th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Will there really be change in China?

On Thursday, the curtain will lift on China's new leaders. That's when we expect to see Xi Jinping emerge as the Communist Party chief.

But don't expect any big changes. At least not in the next five years.

Willy Lam is a China scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He says, "Xi Jinping is a good guy. He’s a consensus candidate. He’s also willing to work with different factions so that’s why he was chosen. However, he is not a visionary or charismatic figure. So particularly in his first term, when he hasn’t yet consolidated his power base, he will toe the line given to him."

For more about factions and the roadblocks to reform, watch the whole interview below.

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Filed under: China
November 13th, 2012
02:16 PM ET

"It's the party's business"

That rare once-in-a-decade leadership transition, or the 18th Party Congress, is still taking place in Beijing.

It's a major political moment in the world's most populous country. But what do the people of China make of it?

I posed the question to social commentator and author Lijia Zhang, and her answer is one big collective shrug:

"Many ordinary people don't feel so excited or joyful about what's happening. It's the party's business and has nothing to do with us."

Click on for the full interview.

November 9th, 2012
07:12 AM ET

The resurgence of Jiang Zemin

I spoke to CSIS Senior Adviser Chris Johnson about how China's leadership transition will affect the U.S.- China relationship.

But I was particularly intrigued by his final thoughts of the lingering presence of Jiang Zemin and what is says about governance in China.

Commenting on the power the ex-leader of China still wields, Johnson says:

"He has a considerable amount of influence as we're about to see a week from today when the new leadership lineup is rolled out. All indications are that several people who have close ties to Jiang Zemin will be promoted into the Politburo Standing Committee."

"There's been substantial rumor (when I was in Beijing last week I heard a lot about this) he's playing a huge role behind the scenes... interestingly, not just in personnel but also on policy. He's been pushing for a more reformist tone to Hu Jintao's Work Report that was delivered yesterday, and dressing up his involvement in the personnel process as a criticism of the lack of reform and movement especially in the economic space during the last 10 years of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao's leadership."

"So I think we're going to continue to see Jiang's influence felt strongly. It's sign the system still has a lot of work to do in terms of its political maturation - that an 86-year old who effectively hasn't been in office for 10 years has that much power and influence over the new lineup."

If you have a moment, please watch the full clip below: