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The NPC and China's Future Direction; "Chasing the Dragon" - The Story of Jackie Pullinger (09 Mar 2007)


The annual two-week meeting of the National People's Congress sets China's direction for the following twelve months, and even further ahead. This year's session is currently under way. It follows on the heels of a recent essay by Premier Wen Jiabao in which he said that China is still in the primary stage of socialism, and could remain so for generations. He also said that democracy was a requirement of socialism, and that despite a recent arms build-up China should follow a peaceful foreign policy. At the NPC meeting he's been focusing on the details, saying that the government will give more priority to education, health care and other social programmes. China analyst Willy Lam is in our studio to give us some insight on the decisions being taken, and what's behind them. Kowloon Walled City wasn't included in the areas of Hong Kong ceded to the British by the Chinese government in the 19th century. For decades, it lay between jurisdictions, governed by few laws. With neither country able to take full responsibility for it, the walled city became an increasingly anarchic and unhygienic environment. Fourteen years ago, after an agreement between the two governments, the Kowloon Walled City was demolished. Last month at the Ko Shan theatre, a group of 60 people brought it back to life for a drama about an English woman who moved into its narrow alleyways 40 years ago. Jackie Pullinger left England in her early twenties, arriving in Hong Kong in 1966. In the Kowloon Walled City she found a vice-filled and unhygienic environment. She decided to stay with the poor, the drug addicts, the prostitutes and the triad members, in the hope of helping them change their lives for the better. Her work still continues.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, March 9, 2007
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