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High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia Paperback – May 1, 2018

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


An 800-CEO-READ's Editor's Choice selection

“A US-based journalist, Doig travels through Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, spinning an engaging narrative that focuses mostly on China’s 'railway diplomacy'." – James Crabtree, Financial Times

"As Will Doig shows in High-Speed Empire, a short but well-told piece of reportage, projects like ports, roads, and high-speed rail could help Beijing dominate its neighborhood--and then, possibly, other parts of the world....a clear-eyed and detailed look at how Beijing's new infrastructure push is emerging on the ground in South and Southeast Asia." -- Joshua Kurlantzick, Washington Monthly

"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

"The 'high-speed' in the title is a double-entendre reference to China’s regional rail ambitions, but also the speed at which all this change is now coming.... Doig is an engaging writer with a keen eye for the human interest angle and the clever turn of phrase."--Asian Review of Books

"Appropriately fast-paced, High-Speed Empire effectively conveys one big idea: we need more on-the-ground investigations like this of the working of China's ambitious 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI). This mega-plan, of which the micro-plans Doig discusses are part, seeks to use not just railways but also shipping lanes, highways and flight routes to connect China to both neighboring and far-flung locales of strategic value." -- Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Times Literary Supplement

""High-Speed Empire is a short book which reads like an extended travelogue. Doig, who previously wrote about urbanization for American news sites, including Salon and the Daily Beast, writes earnestly as a relatively new traveler to Asia. It's hard to write a definitive book on such a work in progress as the Pan-Asia Railway, which may or may not ever be completed. Yet Doig provides a useful introduction to the China-funded construction in Southeast Asia -- a "before" snapshot, the meaning of which we'll know more fully once we've seen the "after." That is an important contribution indeed."--Los Angeles Review of Books

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

"An excellent and concise introduction to China's rail diplomacy." -- Library Journal

About the Author

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.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
  • Paperback : 107 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0997722983
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0997722987
  • Product Dimensions : 4.9 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches
  • Publisher : Columbia Global Reports (May 1, 2018)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 26, 2018
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simon powell
3.0 out of 5 stars Does what it’s supposed to
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2018
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