On Point On Point

Live From Shanghai

They say the rise of China will be the biggest story of the 21st century. And for five days in April of 2008, On Point headed straight into the heart of that story.

Find all of On Point's live broadcasts from Shanghai here.


On Point is a radio show, and as radio producers, we use our ears — a lot. But it’s impossible to convey what China is today without appealing to the eyes as well. This is where the web proves miraculous. We’re big fans of the photo-sharing site Flickr, and we’ve collected photos of China from Flickr users all around the world, who upload their photos under a creative commons license. We've also included photos our staff took during their week in Shanghai.


If you're a regular listener to On Point, you're sure to notice different theme music this week at the beginning of our shows. In fact, throughout our broadcasts from Shanghai the music you hear comes predominantly from mainland China. On this page we've put together a sampling of the featured music.

Artist: 12 Girls Band
Song: "Dunhuang"
Album: Romantic Energy (2005)

You'll hear 12 Girls Band's song "Dunhuang" featured in the special theme music for our China series. Founded in 2001, the group’s members come from some of the top conservatories in China. Their music pairs traditional Chinese instruments with Western tunes.

Artist :Cold Fairyland
Song: “Cloud Riding,” “Shadow Play” and “Puzzle”
Album: All from Seeds of the Ground (2007)

A Shanghai-based group that blends Eastern melodies and Western symphonic rock. They have released five albums to date, performing both in China and abroad.

Artist: Zhao Lin
Song: “MainTitles”
Album: Together [Soundtrack] (2002)

A leading Chinese composer, he composed the soundtrack for the 2002 Chinese drama “Together.”

Band: The Yellow Music Ensemble
Song: “Vivace” from The 1421 Suite
Album: New Shanghai (2006)

Shanghai-based Australian musician and composer John Huie brings together an ensemble of local musicians to create their latest album “New Shanghai.”

These next two artists came to our attention by way of Matthew Corbin Clark, a longtime watcher of the alternative China music scene. (Read his piece "Birth of a Beijing Music Scene," on the website of the PBS Frontline documentary "China in the Red.")

Band: Hanggai
Song: "My Tobshuur"
Album: Flowers (2008)

The Beijing-based band brings Mongolian folk songs with a contemporary sound.

Band: Wang Lei
Song: "Digizheng"
Album: Unreleased

Electronic artist Wang Lei is a pioneer of China’s rock music scene and a contemporary of Cui Jian, “The Father of Chinese Rock.”


Use these as a jumping-off point for exploring general news and information on China.

Basics: Maps, Statistics, Overviews

Google Satellite Image of China -- Plus, Beijing's Forbidden City, Shanghai’s Bund, and Lhasa, Tibet.

China-Profile.com -- Gerhard K. Heilig of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs provides an extensive website with information and analysis on China, including a customizable timeline of events since the inception of the PRC, statistics and facts, population figures, and recommendations of books, guides, and maps on China.

Reuters AlertNet: China -- Reuters AlertNet, a service of the Reuters Foundation, offers statistics and general information on China, including demographics, health, economics, and crises/conflicts.

Economist.com Country Briefings: China -- The Economist’s country briefing on China includes a fact sheet, city guides to Shanghai and Beijing, and links to recent Economist articles (subscription required).

News Media, Blogging, and the Internet

Official Chinese Media -- China View has English versions of articles by the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the government of China. China Daily is the official government news site. The People’s Daily is a widely distributed daily newspaper run by the Communist Party with a worldwide circulation of over 3 million. China Central Television is the government run television channel with news, comedy, and Chinese opera.

Danwei: Chinese Media, Advertising and Urban Life -- An extensive and eclectic news aggregation site edited by South African documentary filmmaker Jeremy Goldkorn. The site's overview of the media landscape in China includes both independent and state run publications and TV shows. They also have a timeline of the history of media in China.

China Digital Times -- An aggregation of the latest news articles on China, including articles from western media and translated articles from the Chinese media.

Anti-CNN -- An example of how Western media is perceived as biased by young Chinese, this site is a noisy protest against what it calls "the lies and distortions in the western media."

ChinaBlogList.com -- A search engine indexing over 400 English-language blogs on China.

Danwei’s List of English-Language Blogs -- An index of individual “informative, well-written websites” on China, including blogs by China based journalists and blog recommendations by category.

Isaac Mao’s English Blog -- Isaac Mao, one of the pioneers of blogging in China, writes in English about technology, politics, and human rights. The English section of Isaac’s blog represents only a small portion of his posts. You can also visit his more extensive Chinese language blog.

tudou.com - China’s YouTube (in Mandarin) -- China’s biggest video sharing site, tudou.com, serves 30% more minutes of video per day than YouTube does. Watch some of what young China is watching.

"The Connection Has Been Reset," by James Fallows -- The Atlantic's James Fallows recently reported on "The Great Firewall of China" and found that it's "crude, slapdash, and surprisingly easy to breach" — but effective nonetheless. He explains why.

What the Chinese Think About Internet Censorship in China -- A March 2008 study from the PEW Internet & American Life Project finds that “Most Chinese Say They Approve of Government Internet Control.”

Western Media Blogs and Special Coverage

Newsweek's "Countdown to Beijing" Blog -- Regular updates on China news by Newsweek's Beijing bureau chief Melinda Liu, and other Newsweek staff.

Time Magazine’s Blog on China -- “Daily detours through the world's fastest changing country” by Time magazine journalists living in China.

James Fallows’ Blog at TheAtlantic.com -- Fallows, a longtime correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, is blogging throughout a two-year assignment in China.

The Daily Telegraph's Richard Spencer -- Richard Spencer, foreign correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, blogs daily on hard news.

"China Rises": McClatchy Journalist Tim Johnson’s Blog -- Tim Johnson, the Beijing Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, updates his blog both with hard news and trivia.

NPR: China and the World -- National Public Radio's special series on China.

BBC: Changing China -- The BBC’s multimedia aggregation of the latest news on China.

CFR: China -- The Council on Foreign Relations, publisher of Foreign Affairs magazine, offers a briefing on China with current and recent analysis from a variety of sources.

The New York Times: Choking on Growth -- A New York Times special section on China’s environmental crisis. Ten installments, each on different topics, all with slideshows, video, and articles.

PBS Frontline: China in the Red -- Frontline’s companion website for their 2003 documentary on 10 ordinary Chinese citizens features a timeline of major events since Mao’s death. You can view the entire documentary online.

China Rises -- A co-production of the The New York Times, Discovery Times, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, "China Rises" is a four-part documentary on politics, economy, environment, and society in China; view video clips and explore their interactive atlas.