China’s Belt and Road Initiative:
A Conversation with Will Doig
July 20, 2018 | Episode #24
In Episode #24 of his podcast, Thomas Fraser talks with
journalist Will Doig about China’s Belt and Road Initiative, railway diplomacy and infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia. The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious endeavor to make China a primary center of global economic activity through a network of infrastructure, industrial zones, supply chains and sea and land trading routes encompassing more than 60 countries. Doig is the author of the excellent new book “High Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia.”
In his book, Doig describes how China is approaching its Belt and Road objectives by taking a close look at major railroad and infrastructure projects being built in Southeast Asia. One of China’s long-standing goals is to build a network of rail connections running from the city of Kunming in China through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore. As Doig details through his on-the-ground reporting, Belt and Road represents a complex set of economic, political, diplomatic and security goals that can only be accomplished over a long period of time. “The Belt and Road Initiative has no completion date,” he says. “China sees this as a very long-term game.”
Doig’s book provides an excellent first-hand look at China’s efforts to realize its Belt and Road ambitions in Southeast Asia. I highly recommend this book for business leaders, policymakers and others wanting to understand how China is working to expand its economic and diplomatic influence through the Belt and Road Initiative.
“High Speed Empire” is published by Columbia Global Reports, a publishing imprint of Columbia University.