China’s Race to Eradicate All Extreme Poverty by 2020 Explored in New PBS SoCal Documentary Debuting May 11 VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINE: CHINA’S WAR ON POVERTY

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Through Unprecedented Access to China, the Film Offers Insight Into How the Country Has Mobilized to Fight the Coronavirus

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“2020 is the year that China intends to eliminate all absolute poverty nationwide and this film is the inside story of how it is happening,” said Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn. “But 2020 is also the year of the novel coronavirus..."

PBS SoCal, Southern California’s home for the premieres of new PBS programs, announced today the presentation of its co-production VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINE: CHINA’S WAR ON POVERTY. Hosted and written by Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a renowned China expert and recipient of the China Reform Friendship Medal, and executive produced by Adam Zhu, VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINE: CHINA’S WAR ON POVERTY is produced by a joint US-China production team, led by award-winning director Peter Getzels. The documentary provides a textured and intimate portrayal of China’s historic anti-poverty campaign by following five cases that highlight China's poverty alleviation policies. With unprecedented access to travel in China, the film explores the country’s poverty alleviation programs, while interviewing villagers and local officials along the way. VOICES FROM THE FRONTLINE: CHINA’S WAR ON POVERTY will air Mon. May 11 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal, Sat. May 16 at 7 p.m. on KCET, Wed. May 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV Nationwide (DirecTV 375 and DISH Network 9410) and will be broadcast on PBS stations across the country with streaming available online at, as well as on and on the free PBS App.

“2020 is the year that China intends to eliminate all absolute poverty nationwide and this film is the inside story of how it is happening,” said Kuhn. “But 2020 is also the year of the novel coronavirus, and when you look at how the government has mobilized to fight the contagion, similarities between China’s war on the epidemic and China’s war on poverty are striking. During the production, we discovered every poor family had a targeted plan to lift it out of poverty; we witnessed village meetings to determine people’s poverty status; and we watched local officials being held accountable, their careers at stake.”

"To understand China’s approach to poverty alleviation helps people to understand how China’s system works,” said Zhu. "Directing a cross-cultural team in remote parts of China led to insights on how this extraordinary program works.” said Getzels, adding “we took a cinematic approach, enabling people to present their own stories.”

According to the Chinese government, China’s economic development has lifted more than 750 million people out of poverty. But for the more than 100 million intractably poor, who are often living in remote mountainous regions, economic development is not enough. With President Xi Jinping introducing ‘targeted poverty alleviation’ as his most important task, measures to eliminate destitution involve customized programs with third-party evaluations to assure accuracy and honesty.

Voices from the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty is co-produced by The Kuhn Foundation and PBS SoCal in association with CGTN.

Join the conversation on social media using #ChinasChallengesPBS

PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV platforms Samsung devices, Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

The Kuhn Foundation (KF) advances understanding and meaning of science and philosophy and facilitates informational exchanges between China and the U.S./world. KF co-produces, with CGTN, “Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn”, featuring China’s thought leaders and decision makers. KF co-produces, with Shanghai Media Group, “China’s Challenges” (three seasons), which won China News Awards (three), Emmy (Los Angeles), Telly Awards (two). For all KF productions in China, Robert Lawrence Kuhn is host and writer; Adam Zhu is executive producer; Peter Getzels is director. KF produces “Closer To Truth”, the long-running series on PBS stations featuring world-renown scientists and philosophers exploring the big questions of cosmos, consciousness, and meaning (; Robert Lawrence Kuhn, host and writer; Peter Getzels, producer/director.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn is a public intellectual and renowned China expert. He was awarded the “China Reform Friendship Medal,” honoring 10 foreigners over four decades (five are living, Kuhn is one of two Americans). For 30+ years, Kuhn, with his long-time partner, Adam Zhu, has worked with China’s leaders and advised the Chinese government. He is a commentator on CNN, BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, and a columnist in South China Morning Post and China Daily. He is the author of over 30 books, including How China’s Leaders Think (featuring President Xi Jinping) and The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin (China’s best-selling book of 2005). He is the host/co-producer of Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn (CGTN). He is an international corporate strategist and investment banker; chairman of The Kuhn Foundation; and creator/writer/host of Closer to Truth.

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