from Wisconsin Public Radio
In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Russian and China. They were the two Communist Giants. Now each is carving out a new future. By most accounts, China is doing it better. It's still an authoritarian state, but the economy if booming. And Russia? Well, it's capitalism's wild frontier, but also an emerging democracy.
Matthew Brzezinski (Zbigniew's nephew) is the author of "Casino Moscow." He tells Steve Paulson that he was beaten and robbed soon after his arrival in Ukraine. He says Moscow is a different planet than the rest of Russia and talks about the great gang warfare there in the 1990s. Also, Peter Greenberg is a journalist turned novelist. He tells Jim Fleming that Russians get under the skin of Americans, who often make promises they can't fulfill to the Russians' expectations. His novel is called "Leaving Katya."
Historian Ian Baruma is the author of "Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing." He tells Jim Fleming that economically China seems to be in better shape than Russia, but its situation is far more precarious in the long run because the government has lost all credibility with the Chinese people. Also, film-maker Shu Kei tells Steve Paulson about his film, "A Queer Story." It's the story of a gay couple in Hong Kong, and created a lot of discomfort for its straight audiences.
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Jimi FlorCruz was born in the Philippines, but is now the dean of foreign journalists working in Beijing. He tells Steve Paulson that political events in the Philippines made it impossible for him to return from what was supposed to be a three week visit to China. He explains that he drifted into journalism and got his big break when he befriended a member of the judge's family during the trial of the Gang of Four after Mao's death. FlorCruz is a correspondent for CNN.
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