'Real unity' between Chinese people, gov't 'extraordinary' -- award-winning US producer

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It is "really extraordinary there is a real unity between the people and the government" in China where leaders genuinely care about the social good, said an award-winning U.S. animation producer on Saturday.

"One of the things that I read recently that really impressed me was a Harvard study that said that the Chinese government has the support of 95 percent of the Chinese population. And this is really extraordinary. This shows that there's a real unity between the people and the government," said Josh Selig, founder and president of China Bridge Content, a New York and Beijing-based content and consulting firm, in an interview with Xinhua via Skype.

"The world is facing a lot of challenges and it takes a lot of good planning to overcome those challenges. And one of the things that impresses me about China is it seems very organized and the leaders seem to genuinely care about the population, they care about the social good," said Selig, also former CEO of Little Airplane Productions, a New York-based company.

"And I have to say that having a certain amount of unified approaches to problems, whether they're the environment, whether they're social concerns, whether they're education, whether it's something like fighting the Coronavirus, having a unified population and government seems to yield really clear linear results. And this is very impressive to me," he said.

"I am very impressed by the way China sets both short-term and long-term goals. And poverty alleviation has been something that as you know the Chinese government's been focused on for 50 years and every decade they've made tremendous progress," he said.

"So many hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty (in China). And this has been done through very strategic government initiatives. And so to me, it's really extraordinary," he said.

"One of the numbers that I read is that about twice the population of the U.S. in terms of numbers have been lifted out of poverty in the last few decades in China. So it's really an extraordinary accomplishment," said Selig.

Over the past 40-plus years, more than 800 million people in China have been lifted out of poverty, contributing more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction.

"Having a unified approach to government has some real advantages when it comes to overcoming difficult problems," he said.

"And I think like many things in China, when the country sets its mind to a goal they're really able to achieve it, and they can do this because the goals don't change that often. They stay very linear. They stay very focused and certainly things are adopted and adapted as needed," he said.

Selig founded Little Airplane Productions in 1999 which was acquired by Studio 100 in 2017.

Selig, who has received 12 Emmy Awards in multiple categories, paid his first visit to China in the 1990s when he worked on Zhima Jie, the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street.

With Little Airplane Productions, Selig has co-produced some animated shows with his Chinese partners. The first was "Super Wings!" with Alpha, which premiered on Sprout, and the second was "P. King Duckling" with UYoung, which premiered on Disney Junior USA and China Central Television.

With an aim to inspire Americans to visit and get a clear perspective of China, Selig shared his love of China in his article Ten Things I Love About China, published by the October/September issue of Animation Magazine last year.

The ten things are trust, patience, humility, discipline, progress, getting around, caring for the poor, respect for the elderly, safety and creativity. 

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