Stories from theFrontlines of a Rising China

Viewed from the outside, China’s rise may appear to be the work of a small group of elites. But in reality, there are millions of Chinese citizens from diverse backgrounds working to propel their nation forward in new directions. Many of these pioneers are rising leaders in their 30s and 40s who grew up during China’s reform and opening period.

The Center for American Progress traveled to Beijing to film some of these pioneers in action. This video series presents an inside look at some of the opportunities and challenges China faces today, seen through the eyes of four young rising leaders.

River LURiver LUManaging Partner, River Partners

River is truly working at the intersection of the world’s two biggest economic powers. After spending five years as Duke Energy’s lead China representative, River recently started her own business advisory firm to help other American companies gain a foothold in China. She hopes economic cooperation will bring the two countries closer together.

Leo HWANGLeo HwangExecutive Director, Parkview Green

Leo Hwang is one of the masterminds behind China’s first LEED-Platinum-certified mixed-use building project. Beijing’s Parkview Green complex showcases innovative green energy technologies. It combines office space, a hotel, and a mall under a massive, pyramid-shaped membrane that conserves energy and surrounds the structure in a dome of clean air. Leo wants the project to provide a vision of a future, more well-off and sustainable Chinese society.

Fan WANGFan WangVice President, China Foreign Affairs University

Professor Fan Wang is a leading Chinese foreign policy expert. He currently serves as vice president for China’s premier diplomatic training institute, which is also the only Chinese university that reports directly to the foreign ministry. He sees the North Korea nuclear issue as a key opportunity for Sino-U.S. cooperation.

Haili CAOHailiManaging Editor, The New York Times Chinese Website

Haili Cao is a path-breaking investigative journalist who recently joined The New York Times. There, she works to introduce Western journalism to a Chinese audience. Before joining The New York Times, Haili helped launch some of China’s pioneering independent media publications. She has written on a wide range of critical issues in China’s economic and social development, including business and finance, corruption, public health, energy, climate change, and social issues.

CREDITS: Project Lead: Melanie Hart  • Video Production: Andrew Satter  • Editing: Anne Paisley and Lauren Vicary

Additional videography for Fan Wang’s video: Mandarin Film • Additional photography for Leo Hwang's video: The Associated Press  Funding Support Provided by Ford Foundation