The schoolgirls of Shaolin Epo Wushu College have little time to play with dolls. In their boarding school, they live by a tight schedule and strict discipline. Every day they train to fight with knives and swords. Living a Spartan lifestyle, they work hard to make their teachers and their country proud but only students who pass the exams are allowed to continue their education.
As China is setting a course to revive the Silk Road with its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, we visit the key cities on the renowned ancient trade route. Learn the story behind the discovery of the famous terracotta army in Xi’an, visit Lanzhou for a traditional tea ceremony, and find out what ailments are treated with acupuncture in Ürümqi.
They are forced out of society into involuntary seclusion, away from civilisation. Their tormentor is invisible – and it’s gaining power and expanding its reach day by day. However, most people consider it to be harmless, and look upon those claiming otherwise with distrust. The victims are called electrosensitive people, and they are running out of places where they can hide from the waves produced by wireless and cell phone technology.
Jurij Kofner is an investigative journalist. As a German, he’s worried about how relations have developed between his homeland and the US. His goal now is to reveal the extent to which his country is influenced by America’s global agenda.
Every working day they risk being wounded, abducted for ransom or killed. They experience war first-hand while being armed with nothing more than mics and cameras. These are the stories of Syrian war journalists who survived deadly encounters and yet still returned to work. This devotion to their vocation is their way of helping the Motherland.
According to a modern Chinese saying, to see the country’s future, you have to visit Shenzhen. This is the innovation hub that attracts inventors and investors from all over the world. There are residents of “China’s silicon valley megacity” who work in skyscrapers, drive solar-powered cars and live side-by-side with friendly robots.
“Geological scandal” is a phrase often used to describe The Democratic Republic of Congo. It is one of the world’s most resource-rich countries with extensive deposits of gold, diamonds, tungsten and uranium amongst many others. The abundance of internationally valued minerals has however failed to bring any kind of prosperity. It began with colonial exploitation of the land and its people and continued in bloody civil war, the Congolese have harvested nothing from their country’s natural riches but misery and poverty.
According to ancient Chinese legend, Daoist monk, Zhang Sanfeng was meditating in the Wudang Mountains when he saw a fight between a snake and a sparrow. He was intrigued by the way the animals moved, their incredible grace and precision inspired him to create the Taijiquan style of Wushu, a Chinese martial art. Legend has it that practicing Wudang Wushu helped him live for 300 years. To this day, monks in the Mountains preserve the art, which remains imbued with philosophy, and pass it on from generation to generation.
A group of journalists travel across China, following the famous and ancient old Silk Road to witness the trading link’s revival. The route that originated in this country once connected Europe to Asia. Now, under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the Chinese government is seeking to recreate a modern-day “New Silk Road”. Key industrial centres are undergoing an economic boom and major megacities, and their residents are seizing the opportunity to develop new business and contribute to the cause.
North Koreans say they’re the happiest people in the world. Their great leader is like a father who takes care of them and all their needs. They’re told that he’s made their country the most powerful and economically developed on the planet. A quick look at the World Wide Web or any international media might lead to a different conclusion but in North Korea, they’re banned.
18-year-old Esteban Quispe Churata became world-famous as the “Bolivian Wall-E”. He is a self-taught robot maker who scours municipal dumps and flea markets to recycles e-waste for his inventive creations, many of which are inspired by movies.
Sinaloa isn’t just a state in Mexico; the word has become synonymous with a vicious gang, the CIA says it’s the most powerful drug cartel in the world. Life here is largely dependent on what the gangsters do, and so is death. Superficially the area appears quiet and steeped in quaint Latin charm, but it proved to be one of the most dangerous places an RTD crew has ever filmed.
In Russia, every schoolchild knows the name of Aleksey Maresyev. The legendary WWII fighter pilot’s heroic story was retold in a 1948 book, “The story of a real man”. After his plane was shot down by Nazi fire, he survived in the Russian wilderness for 18 days with broken legs and found his way to safety. Despite losing both legs in hospital, he still convinced doctors and military commanders that he should continue to fly. His example helped many who might otherwise have given up, some handicapped pilots say it inspired them to survive and continue with their careers.
In Russia and the CIS, World War II is known by a different name, the Great Patriotic War. In that conflict more Soviet people died than from any other nation. There were hardly any families in the USSR that had not lost loved ones. Today, the stories of the many who gave their lives in defence of their motherland are retold, using their own letters from the front. They don’t just talk of love, bravery and sacrifice but shed light on the scale of human tragedy suffered during WWII.
Paracale in the Philippines’ is also known as “Goldtown”. RTD visits its illegal goldmines where child labour is rife and health and safety virtually non-existent. To extract gold, miners dive into a mud-filled shaft, sometimes never to come back.
The Giant Panda is China’s national symbol, the only country where it lives in the wild. Human activity and other natural factors have brought this placid animal to near-extinction. Today, the Chinese government takes great care to protect and enlarge the panda population. Its panda breeding and rescue centres provide a safe environment and attract millions of tourists.