Australia is inextricably tethered to China – but how much do we really know about the Chinese dragon sitting on our doorstep? And how much do they really know about us? What is the state of the relationship and where does the future lie? It’s time for us to understand, and make sense of, China. Two Men in China sees the indefatigable Tim Flannery and John Doyle – armed with inquisitive minds and enduring humour – explore our powerful neighbour and our major trading partner.The journey begins with iron ore departing our shores and takes us through a series of surprising twists and turns in the People’s Republic to reveal a nation trying to make a sharp turn from “made in China” to “created in China”. From the hi-tech and high speed bullet trains rapidly connecting the nation to the inter city express and metro subways, the train is a modern day symbol of Chinese power, wealth and might – and the ability to just get things done.
Along the way, Tim and John meet the usual eclectic group of characters as they burrow beneath the surface of China and the Chinese while asking what does communism in China mean today. Our intrepid hosts will grapple with the traditional workers, the otherwise inscrutable government workers and the new movers and shakers. They also meet adroit Aussies trying to ride the dragon to success. Along the way there are lessons to learn and warnings to heed when a nation rapidly industrialises and urbanises as it drags its people out of poverty. The series starts in and around Beijing then takes Tim and John to Shanghai before finally landing in Chengdu. Travelling through China, Tim and John will always try to take the train. This is the series that will try to make sense of one of the most enigmatic countries on Earth. Tim and John will investigate how Australia’s mineral and agricultural wealth is helping to drive the Chinese economy, feeding its people and accelerating the urbanisation of the most populous nation. But it’s time to ask: shouldn’t we be more than just China’s quarry? What is the future for our two nations?