“Informative, delightful, and powerfully moving . . . Rob Gifford’s acute powers of observation, his sense of humor and adventure, and his determination to explore the wrenching dilemmas of China’s explosive development open readers’ eyes and reward their minds.”
Robert A. Kapp, president, U.S.-China Business Council, 1994-2004
In this fascinating book “China Road”, Rob Gifford takes a journey along the Route 312 from it’s starting in Shanghai, through rural heart of China and then up into the Gobi Desert, where it merges with the Old Silk Road. In fact, this highway observes many parts of the social and economic changes happening in China. Rob Gifford, the Author, was born and raised in the U.K. and first went to China in 1987, when he was twenty years old to study the language. He speaks fluent Mandarin and has spent the last two decades studying and reporting about China, mostly during the time he was traveling through this country.
Gifford is not alone in his journey. He speaks with ordinary people, talk-show hosts, impoverished peasants and tragic prostitutes, cell-phone salesmen, AIDS patients, and Tibetan monks. He interviews journalists, managers of factories and start-up companies and many others to know their opinions about their social, political or even economic situations in China. Gifford travels a part of the road with some members of a Shanghai jeep club across the Gobi desert. He also sings karaoke with migrant workers at truck stops on the way. Then finally, he writes about all his adventures through the cast of these many different characters, which he met. He sees signs of a rising urban economy everywhere, but he also talks about problems that could jeopardize China’s rise.
This book gives a very comprehensive look at the country’s promises as well as problems. Furthermore, Gifford is also balanced in his opinions. He gives China the credit wherever it really deserves like improving infrastructure in the country, giving people freedom that they never had before however, criticizes wherever necessary, like the local government corruption.
Before reading “China Road” I had very little information about China however this book is very informative and can give everyone good and clear understanding about the sensitive issues and real situations of this country.