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

Will Doig

"A decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Today, it owns a network of over 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.

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Book Information

Publisher: Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 107
ISBN-13: 9780997722987
ISBN-10: 0997722983
Language: English

Full Description

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.

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.

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