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The Shadow of the Emperor

More than 100 years after the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the abdication of the last Emperor in China, Isabel Hilton asks how the country has coped since.

More than a hundred years on from the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the abdication of the last Emperor in China, Isabel Hilton describes how China coped with the collapse and looks for any lingering legacy. After living under the comparative stability of an Imperial system for so long she explains what happened when the young Emperor, Puyi, was forced to stand down. Isabel reports from the Chinese capital, Beijing, on how China set about finding a new system to govern. One hundred years on has the country fully recovered from the trauma of this rupture from such an ancient past and has it finally settled on its replacement? Isabel goes in search of the shadow of the emperor and describes the China's current relationship with its Imperial past.

Producer: Anthony Denselow

First broadcast in January 2011.

Available now

45 minutes

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