Programme Index

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China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 1: Sima Qian: China's Great Historian

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

Free speech has long had a high price in China. Here Sima Qian ponders his privates - and posterity - in a tale that still resonates after more than 2,000 years.

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 2: Kublai Khan: The Barbarian

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

The Chinese emperor who inspired Coleridge and Columbus was not Chinese. Carrie Gracie finds a pattern in the way China digests foreigners and their ideas. Show more

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 3: The Duke of Zhou: The Ancestor

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

Many Chinese look to Confucius for guidance. But Confucius looked to the Duke of Zhou. He handed power to his nephew 3,000 years ago, but his ideas still motivate leaders today.

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 4: Du Fu and Li Bai - The Poets

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

Carrie Gracie explores the lives of Du Fu and Li Bai, two men whose poetry remains as vivid in the Chinese imagination as Shakespeare is in our own. Show more

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 5: The Soong Sisters - The Consorts

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

Carrie Gracie explores the lives of three sisters who end up on different sides of China's bloody political divide after marrying some of the most important men of the 20th century. Show more

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 8: Wang Anshi - The Mandarin

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

Running China has always required a civil service machine. One man's tale of triumph and disaster among the yes men and flatterers of the 11th century. Show more

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 9: Hong Xiuquan - The Rebel

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

A 19th-century Christian king on the Yangtse. The Europeans joined forces against him, and nearly 100 years later, it was another rebel who claimed to put China's people in power. Show more

China: As History Is My Witness

Episode 10: Old Hundred Names - China's Citizens

Duration: 15 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

At best they have been taken for granted and sometimes they have endured far worse at the hands of China's governments and invaders alike. What voice for the Chinese public now?