BBC World News channels the Power of Asia

BBC will devote a month of shows to Asia’s economy, its business, politics, society and environment.

BBC will devote a month of shows to Asia’s economy, its business, politics, society and environment in Power of Asia, beginning 10 June.

Newsday, will be presented live from Singapore and London, Weekend World is presented from Jakarta, HARDTalk will be in Thailand ahead of country’s elections, Return to Japan will examine the impact of the country’s earthquake and tsunami and the final two weeks will coincide with the 90th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.

At the heart of the season is the story of Asia’s economic growth, and the ways in which this has impacted on the region itself and the rest of the world. Issues presented by high growth, rising living standards and the pace of technological and social change make Asia unique, and pose significant challenges both within the continent and beyond.

Richard Porter, Acting Controller of English at BBC Global News, says: “There are so many fascinating questions around Asia at the moment. Is the region’s extraordinary growth sustainable? How will the key players maintain relations with their neighbours? What does Asia’s growth mean for the environment and biodiversity? What about its trading partners, and its economic rivals? Just how does today’s Asia view the world? And how does the world see Asia? The Power of Asia of season gives us the chance to explore these in real depth.”

As part of the season, but also as a long-term commitment to the region, BBC World News will launch a new daily news programme, Newsday, which will be presented live from Singapore and London, timed for mornings in Asia. In Australia, Newsday will screen at 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm amd 1:00pm weekdays.

Babita Sharma in London and Rico Hizon in Singapore will deliver an overview of the day’s big news stories, as well as the latest business and sports updates, each weekday. The programme will look at stories from both an Asian and global perspective and offer a thorough round-up for audiences both in the region and around the world. Beginning on 13 June, Newsday will be a regular addition to the schedule.

The season itself will begin with a special edition of Weekend World, presented from Jakarta on Friday 10 June, which will preview the programming coming up over the coming month. This will be followed by Indonesia Direct – a week of programmes focused on Indonesia. Working Lives will report from Jakarta; One Square Mile will examine a square mile of the city of Bandung; while Fast:track will be presented from Indonesia.

Week one will also coincide with the World Economic Forum in Jakarta. Mishal Husain will be presenting live from the event on 12 and 13 June, asking ‘who really owns Asia’s wealth?’

The second week of the season will see a documentary focusing on China’s economic impact on the rest of the world: The Chinese are Coming. Then, following on from the tragic events in Japan and, Return to Japan will examine the impact on the country’s economy and its society following the earthquake and tsunami.

Resident correspondent Roland Buerk, and Asia Business correspondent Mariko Oi, who also reported from Japan in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, will explain how the country is getting back onto its feet, with a particular emphasis on the recovery of the economy and efforts to rebuild and regenerate in the region affected by the Tsunami.

Online, the recently launched Asia Business Index will support the season. In addition, there will be a series of special reports on bbc.com/news entitled One in a Billion. Nick Rosen will interview six of China’s most high-profile super-rich figures. Beginning on 8 June, subjects of the interviews and profiles will include Zong Qinghou, Chairman of China’s leading beverage country and ranked by Forbes magazine as the country’s third richest man; Liu Yiqian, billionaire and China’s biggest art collector; and Zhou Xiaoguang, one of China’s richest women.

A two part documentary will examine Taiwan’s new rapprochement with China, asking what it means for the island. Part one of Embracing the Dragon assesses the presidency of Ma Ying-jeou, under which economic and cultural links with the Chinese mainland have flourished. With Ma’s presidential term now drawing to a close, the programme considers the achievements and criticisms of his China policy. Part two looks at Taiwan’s future options. Along the way, the series examines Taiwanese identity and assesses what the country’s experiences reveal about Beijing’s foreign policy.

Elsewhere, One Planet looks at the issues around sustainability in Asia with two reports. Presented by Mike Williams from Malaysia, the first, entitled Asia, from Saver to Spender, will look at how Asia’s economies, which can now boast larger national savings at their collective disposal than all of the world’s rich nations combined, have a huge capacity to raise government spending and private consumption. The programme looks at how Asia might dictate the world’s future growth as it morphs from saver to spender.

The second, entitled At the Edge of Capitalism, reports from the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo ,one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, with substantial timber, oil and aluminium reserves. The Malaysian government and Chinese and Arab investors are preparing to plough billions of dollars in to rapidly industrialise the area. The programme looks at alternatives to the traditional development path – solutions that involve leaving resources in the ground, rather than extracting them.

Content across BBC World News, BBC World Service and BBC.com

A special edition of The World Debate, presented by Mishal Husain, will be recorded at the World Economic Forum, and will broadcast on BBC World News television and BBC World Service radio on 18 and 19 June.

Week two of the season will examine the unique issues presented by three of Asia’s most distinctive urban environments in Asian Megacities. The programme will broadcast across BBC World Service, BBC World News and BBC.com, looking at a number of Asian cities at different stages of growth. Sanjoy Majumder will report from Kolkata; Sharanjit Leyl from Singapore; and Damian Grammaticus will be in Tianjin, China, the population of which is poised to breach the 10 million barrier. BBC Indonesia, BBC Chinese and BBC Burmese will also explore the topic, focusing on Jakarta, Chongquing and Naypyidaw respectively.

HARDTalk will be in Thailand ahead of country’s elections, which are now fixed for 3 July.

The final two weeks of the season will coincide with the 90th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. News coverage across BBC World Service, BBC World News and BBC.com will follow the events and examine what the milestone means for today’s China.

For transmission times go to www.bbc.com/worldnews and www.bbc.com/worldservice

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