This is the third podcast in CET's "A Bridge to the Future" series marking the 30th anniversary of CET Academic Programs in China. In these half-hour conversations, we reflect on CET's involvement in educating generations of students who would then observe and drive China's astonishing record of modernization and development. As such, this podcast series features conversations with reporters, scholars and experts on China looking back at the last thirty years of reform and opening up.

In the studio with David Moser this week is Ken Hammond: professor of history at New Mexico State University, author of a biography of Yang Jisheng and lecturer in the Great Courses series "From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History." In addition, Ken has the distinction of being CET's first student... ever. Which is why we're delighted to have him with us today for a wide-ranging discussion of what China and Beijing was like in the early 1980s, and how a knowledge of Chinese history continues to be essential for tracking current affairs in China.