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New film questions China's effect on world

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Veverka Bros Productions LLC has completed the company’s first feature-length film, "China: The Rebirth of an Empire." The documentary examines the global implications of China’s unprecedented growth, which has placed it on the verge of overtaking the United States as the world’s preeminent power.

But what type of power will China become? Empire or democracy? In today’s interconnected and globalized world, the answer affects each and every one of us.

The film, produced by brothers Jesse and Jeremy Veverka, was shot on location in 10 different countries and territories throughout Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nepal and the United States, and weaves together such diverse issues as free trade, Islamic fundamentalism, North Korea’s nuclear program and the Pro-Tibet movement under the umbrella of the national aspirations of an increasingly wealthy China.

The documentary is the first of its kind to reconcile American economic decline with China’s blistering growth, changing political climate and treatment of ethnic and religious minorities such as the Uyghurs and the Falun Gong.

Japan plays a prominent role in the film, both on and off screen. As director Jesse Veverka explains, “All the time people in Japan ask me what a film about China could possibly have to do with Japan, and in short I say ‘everything.’”

The film asks the taboo question: could a Chinese superpower eventually seek retribution against Japan for the horrors that Japan inflicted on China in the early 20th century?

According to Veverka, “Japan thinks its alliance with the U.S. will protect it, but in reality the most important factor may very well be nationalism – will Chinese youth-nationalism moderate itself, and will smoldering anti-China sentiment in Japan explode as China gains power?”

Veverka says he has high hopes that China won’t follow in Japan’s militaristic footsteps, but that its growth will have a big affect on the lives of every Japanese in the future, “whether that means working at a low-wage service job instead of a high-wage factory job, or learning to live with an impotent United States, or simply having foreign ‘cool’ being defined by Beijing rather than LA.”

In addition to Japan’s topical role in the film, the country also served as a production base for the film. “Since the film was mostly shot in Asia, we needed a regional hub for the film, but because it deals with some sensitive political topics, especially Rebiya Kadeer and the Falun Gong, we realized we couldn’t do everything we needed to do from China. Japan offers the right combination of location, political stability, and relatively free press for us at this time,” Veverka explains.

Exiled Uyghur spokeswoman, Rebiya Kadeer, labeled as a “separatist” by the Chinese government for her alleged role in inciting riots in the Xinjiang region, is an outspoken voice of criticism featured in the film. The Chinese government has gone to great lengths to censor media that mention Kadeer, such as boycotting last year’s premiere of the "Ten Conditions of Love," a documentary which features her, at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

More recently in January 2010, an article in the Hollywood Reporter named "China: The Rebirth of an Empire" as one of two films that resulted in China blocking access to the online movie database, IMDb, because the film lists Kadeer as a credit.

Despite this early reaction, Jesse Veverka says, “The film actually takes a more positive view on the future of China, because China seems to realize that its most powerful asset is not its military, but rather its economy.”

Other interviews include East Asia expert and author of the bestsellers "Blowback," "The Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis," Chalmers Johnson, exiled political dissident and former Chinese Communist Party member Wei Jingsheng, former Afghan prime minister Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, and Freddie Lim, pro-democracy activist and lead singer of the Taiwanese heavy metal band ChthoniC. The film is slated for release in the second half of 2010.

More information and the film’s trailer can be found online at www.chinarebirth.com.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


28 Comments
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Of the 26 countries included in the annual ARS retirement ready survey, the so called economic powerhouse China ranks last. Shall make for most interesting financial developments as the workforce retires and starts using resources for health care and pensions. Environmental issues are another skeleton in the closet, and factory pollutants, better hope Al Goe doesn't pop in for a quick visit.

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... or simply having foreign ‘cool’ being defined by Beijing rather than LA

I sincerely doubt we need to worry about that

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Until a country realizes that the populace is the most important asset it will only catabolize itself and fail.

I have faith in the Chinese people though and do believe they can beat the financial terrorists that bind US all. -These people will break the chains of globalism (slavery/corruption).

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The film asks the taboo question: could a Chinese superpower eventually seek retribution against Japan for the horrors that Japan inflicted on China in the early 20th century?

Napoleon and Hitler couldn't swim across the English channel despite their overwhelming power over land, there's your answer

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@NationalistRE - but Napoleon and Hitler didnt have hundreds of nukes as well as thousands of cruise missiles and jet airplanes - did they? In any case, China will never become what US is now for one simple but profound reason - there is not enough resources on Earth to support US level of consumption for Chinese (even if US disappeared off the face of the earth).

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China won't seek retribution on Japan because it's simply bad for business.

That said, if China said screw it and decided to do Japan, it wouldn't come thru any land invasion as to be portrayed in the upcoming movie 'Red Dawn 2010', with Chinese forces invading the continental United States. Instead, hundreds of nukes and thousands of cruise missiles will rain down on Japan, as suggested by Elephunk.

No worries, Japan. Chances of this happening are next to zero.

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Despite all the rhetoric China has growing internal problems, right now much of the Islamic extremism is focused on the USA and Israel but as China grows and it become more noticeable in the regions were the USA has traditionally been used a the "great Satan" and add to that its own internal "controls" imposed on its indigenous Muslim population, I foresee a few bumps in the road ahead.

Militarily nothing is going to go on basically because it would be a no win situation on all side, that just leaves economically and here we have a few contradictory points, China may be a powerhouse of production and sales but it by far controls were it actually counts and that is the global banking and if (and I do mean IF) the western powers wanted to stop things they could very easily just by collapsing a few things on the international monetary exchange alone, yes it would be next to suicide for the west but in the short term and probably the long term as well they would recover more quickly and with less internal problems.

And before someone says something about China holding a very large amount of USA$ remember that can be a double edged sword any sudden devaluation of the dollar and that asset become a liability, you could call it the USA's poison pill option.

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The production itself seem to be the content of the movie; to base oneself in a country, with 65 years of improving health after a serious bout of military fascism, and make a movie about the biggest country in the world, incidentally run by a fascist regime. ... and is it really a positive view when a nation finds out that its most powerful asset is its economy instead of its military? Sounds like a country that is living in the middle ages to me...

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I don't think its hundreds of nukes for China, Maybe 100 if they are lucky. I agree with many posts, China has many internal problems and they have to worry about people having jobs and they have a lot of rural areas that will riot very quickly. They also have an aging population which not many people talk about, the one child policy is coming to haunt them. There is a saying "China will grow old before it grows rich" Plus there is still no innovation coming from China, all that they have done in the past few decades is from buying technology or reverse engineering it, they could never have put a man in space with out the Russians not in the time frame they did it, they couldn't have High speed rails with out buying a lot of the technology from France, Germany and Japan, they still don't have any real National Brands, most of their rich people are in Real estate. I think all the talk is way over blown personally.

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20 million Chinese men who have no hope of getting brides because of Mao's demented social engineering policies and the lingering institutional misogyny in Confucianism that even imported European Marxism couldn't eradicate . Where does that figure in all the speculation about big bad China?

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China won't seek retribution on Japan because it's simply bad for business.

it may be bad for business but china has painted japan as a bad guy for years to drive nationalist sentiment and take their peoples' eye off other problems. look at the rampage against japanese businesses several years ago. now just imagine if the government let it go on and didn't eventually try to calm things down...

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Elite aristocracy ever guilty of atrocities from Vlad the Impaler to the Kempeitai, the overempowered Maoists ... Millions of Japanese lost beloved sons, fathers and husbands; millions of Japanese women and children starved and slaved for the war machine. The lessn or retribution should be to prohibit overempowerment as the root of all evil, abuse, oppression and heavy taxes.

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No country will ever surpass the US and England, for it is written.

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@The758, LOL. Couldn't agree more. It's easy to differentiate the Chinese from the Japanese in Tokyo - by their horrid fashion.

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I have faith in the Chinese people though and do believe they can beat the financial terrorists that bind US all. -These people will break the chains of globalism (slavery/corruption).

Sounds awfully close to communism.

it may be bad for business but china has painted japan as a bad guy for years to drive nationalist sentiment and take their peoples' eye off other problems. look at the rampage against japanese businesses several years ago. now just imagine if the government let it go on and didn't eventually try to calm things down...

China will always need a propaganda piece to distract the people from the gangsters in power. Japan serves that purpose well, so no need for China to change. And regardless how popular the fervor gets, the Chinese people won't do anything the government doesn't tell them to do.

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bicultural:

It's easy to differentiate the Chinese from the Japanese in Tokyo - by their horrid fashion.

I couldn't agree more. Women dressed up as ho's, tight mini-skirts in the dead middle of winter, cheaply-dyed blond hair, eyes done up big making the women look as if they're permanently surprised, so-called straight men done up looking more feminine than gay men, men plucking their eyebrows, etc. Absolutely horrid.

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manfrom usa:

China will always need a propaganda piece to distract the people from the gangsters in power.

Sure. But then again your country too, always has the need to find a boogeyman. Yesterday it was the Soviets. Today it's all Muslims. Tomorrow, it'll be the Chinese.

the Chinese people won't do anything the government doesn't tell them to do.

Really? You do remember Tiananmen? You've head of all the political activists and the villagers demonstrating after their houses were bulldozed?

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I don't think that "Rebirth of an Empire" is really accurate. What would be more accurate is a once great Empire that rotted and became the whipping boy of the whole world then went communist and totally messed up economically for several decades finally got it's act together economically. Still China retains it's one party dictatorship, authoritarian rule, and little regard for the rights of the individual, or minorities for that matter and leaves the rest of the world with distrust, not just in the their product quality control but in their true political ie; to hang on to power no matter what, amnd how they will relate to other nations to maintain it.

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China has already demonstrated that democracy is not on the table. Human rights and freedoms are unlikely to be forthcoming.

Second, any documentary dealing with China must deal with the disconnection between the capitalist elite of China and the masses of still endoctrinated socialists. Sooner or later this will result in internal conflict of much larger scale than we have already seen.

Suppression of minorities, the occupation of Tibet and ongoing threats against Taiwan are a clear demonstration that China is a danger to democractic thinking in Asia.

Finally. Both the global environment and the decline of fossil fuels will curtail China's ability to maintain growth. The corporates want us to think of China as the US was in the 19th century with unending economic frontiers to open. This is narrow visioned and highly unrealistic thinking. China's growth cannot be maintained. In part because of ecology and oil supplies, but it is also about the very likely decline in consumerism by the west as environmental and economic factors start to limit this behavior.

We should be very worried that China will emerge as an empire. Equally dangerous as a US type market economy. Neither is good for the future of humanity.

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pukey - You should have dropped the "I know you are but what am I" argument sometime after graduating from elementary school. Sure, the Soviets were accurately our enemy. As is radical Islam. As is China.

However, this article is about chinese propaganda, so please stay on topic.

anyway, what has happened since Tiananmen? The communist government told them to shut up, and they have. The chinese people are so used to being dominated by oppressive regimes, they expect nothing less.

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manfromamerica. Not entirely true. There have been worker protests and uprisings in China since Tianamen Square. There have also been dissatisfaction from various groups over work, disparity in standards of living and more.

There are several good books out about the time bomb that is Chinese descent in the classes who are not benefitting directly from the so called prosperity. When propaganda and reality are this far out of line, it is highly likey that political, social and civil unrest may follow.

China is far from a secure, defined outcome for her future.

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tkoind2 - true. good post.

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China is far from a secure, defined outcome for her future.

China will continue to "build it's Empire" constantly showing economic growth, forcefully plowing money into projects and development regardless of whether it's needed and even if the entire planet is in a recession. The govt needs it's people to be happy lest they turn on them. For the Chinese govt the economy is a matter of survival.

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First of all, I completely agree with the comment from rgetty (1st comment on this blog). But let's put this "China is an eminent superpower" thing into an economic prospective as it relates to the U.S. and it's alliance with Japan. First of all, China's current GDP totalled USD 4.9 trillion compared to Japan's $5.1 trillion while the U.S. was close to $20 trillion! China has 1.3 billion people and the U.S. has 300 million and Japan 125 million. Think about this for just a second. On a GDP per capita basis and assuming China's ecomony contines to grow at 10% per yr every year (not realistic) and the U.S. and Japan economies doesn't grow at all (also not realistic), it will take China over 150 to 200 years to get to the same individual weath standard as Japan and U.S. China an eminent superpower? I don't think so. Not in my lifetime nor in my great grandchildren's lifetime. BTW, I've been living in China for over 6 years now.

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Napoleon and Hitler couldn't swim across the English channel despite their overwhelming power over land, there's your answer

They couldn't cross the channel because the UK had an immensely strong navy in 1805 and 1940. Do you think Japan's 'navy' is a match for China's?

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i like ossans line of thought.

So what does it take for a country to become an Empire?? How many empires remain today?? well they arent made up of countries ,not centrally controlled by governments, they are made up of multinational corporations....e.g. the media empire of Rupert Murdoch

I dont think they are talking invasion and occupation tactics...thats more US policy (okay they will deal to their own dissident regions with more force for sure, brace yourself Tibet!) So we are talking about the growth of chinese multinationals to take out the top spots from US companies..this will be the real change in hegemony.

If they really do grow a huge military to rival the USs then theyll pull the same tricks as the USA and use force to intervene and give "guidance" in oil supplying regions..but under the guises of international cooperation and multinational forces..this is the smart way, they are smart diplomats

The reach of China can nowadays be seen heavily not only in the shelves of Fortune 500 number 1 (or 2) WalMart, but also deeper in infrastructure of the developing countries in Africa, the carribean, and small nations in the Pacific ocean and south America....why are there signs in chinese letters all over in some of these places?? because the Chinese have the buying power and are investing to secure supply lines of resources as well as doing local business as they do and always will do in every other country on earth( even in Iceland there are about 600 chinese compared to 300 germans)so theres no denying the outreach and influence chinas business wields. survival of the fittest in business, the chinese are damn fit.we need to be careful also not to create a boogeyman of the Chinese govt when inmany cases its millions of individual entrepreneurs inside and outside china (some that immigrated generations ago penniless) that are now reaping rewards from years of sweat and many tears in foreign lands.

As for Japan, well China wont need to take revenge with bombs ,if it can it will be happy to have Japan subservient economically

The greatest fear of the West though is that the central government itself may control one day control our domestic policies, block our internet, censor our movies.

Well, did anyone else manage it over the past 2000years?? what happened??? yea thats right! the people rose , the people fought, the people won.

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oh yea, i know 2 people, chinese citizens who went to the USA and are now in the US Army!! individual benefits of a salary, pension, green card etc. in exchange for a few years military service were more attractive than the worry that one day they might have to shoot at a PLA soldier from China!

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I really don't understand why this country its so overestimated. There ain't no empire and specially no rebirth of anything here in china. All i can see around me its a society extirpated by any cultural background, completely devote to the ridiculous america consumerist/capitalist model. Fellas don't get too excited about this country, all the power they show off its just because of the nice gift pack they wrap all their performances, sadly all this sound absurdly amplified on the western media...

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