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High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia
— —
Will Doig
High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia by Will Doig at Abbey's Bookshop,

High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia

Will Doig


Columba Press

Regional studies;
Asian history;
Politics & government;
Business & management


107 pages

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The story of the world's most audacious infrastructure project.

Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Today, it owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined. Now, China is pushing its tracks into Southeast Asia, reviving a century-old colonial fantasy of an imperial railroad stretching to Singapore; and kicking off a key piece of the One Belt One Road initiative, which has a price tag of $1 trillion and, reaches inside the borders of more than 60 countries.

The Pan-Asia Railway portion of One Belt One Road could transform Southeast Asia, bringing shiny Chinese cities, entire economies, and waves of migrants where none existed before. But if it doesn't succeed, that would be a cautionary tale about whether a new superpower, with levels of global authority unimaginable just a decade ago, can pull entire regions into its orbit simply with tracks, sweat, and lots of money. Journalist Will Doig traveled to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to chronicle the dramatic transformations taking place -- and to find out whether ordinary people have a voice in this moment of economic, political, and cultural collision.

By:   Will Doig
Imprint:   Columba Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 191mm,  Width: 127mm, 
ISBN:   9780997722987
ISBN 10:   0997722983
Pages:   107
Publication Date:   November 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Will Doig is a journalist covering urban development, transportation, and infrastructure. Most recently, he was a senior editor at George Soros's Open Society Foundations. He has worked as an international editor at Next City, an online magazine about urbanism; a contributing writer at Salon, where he wrote the weekly Dream City column; and a senior editor at The Daily Beast. He was a recurring guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation and his work has been republished in two books. A graduate of George Washington University, he lives in New York City.

Doig writes vividly out of his reporting trips to places like Boten, the Chinese-built 'mini-Macau' on the Laos side of their border; Bandar Malaysia, a controversial terminus development outside Kuala Lumpur; and Forest City, islands built for Chinese expats just off Singapore. High-Speed Empire is a short, fast read, but offers much food for thought. -- John Delury, Global Asia Money talks, and China has it. This vividly observed report shows how Chinese money--both governmental and private--is transforming Southeast Asia. -- Andrew J. Nathan, Class 0f 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University A richly textured portrait of how China's infrastructural diplomacy is changing the urban face of its neighbors. It's not easy to find poetry and importance in industrial zones, half-empty malls, and real estate showrooms, but Doig has done just that in sketching the ambitions of China and its people. -- Greg Lindsay, co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next Illuminating study of China's ambitious efforts to extend its influence in Southeast Asia by means of a high-speed rail system. -- Kirkus Review

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