Finally cracked them.
ASTORIA, NYC- I can remember when I went to London for the launch of Ghost Cities in 2015 sitting in a dark pub on a dark rainy day feeling dejected. My publisher asked me to come to London to do two weeks of events and media appearances but when I got there it became clear that they hadn’t exactly had my schedule packed. We did a few incredible events, I did a few interviews, and then I was cut loose. I was on my own — the inevitable reality of the author.
So I put my head down and started trying to arrange some media engagements myself. I sent off emails to all the major papers that didn’t previously do a story on me (when I think about it now I should have just showed up at their offices). One of those papers that I queried was The Telegraph. I clearly remember drinking my beer and scanning their webpage for contact info.
They weren’t interested.
Five years later I get an email from a producer who worked for The Independent wondering if I’d be interested in being interviewed for a video feature that they were doing about the Belt and Road.
I thought of that dark empty bar on that dark rainy day in London and smiled. A little late but I take it.
I was off on a film project last week so we scheduled it for Sunday. I set up my cameras and audio equipment — good video for interviews isn’t generally expected but bad video bothers me. I talked with a pretty rad journalist who actually knew
something Central Asia — she studied the region in university. I talked for a while and formulated some takes on the Belt and Road that I haven’t yet expressed in an interview before. It came out today:
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii
July 29, 2020, 8:28 am
One point: They talk about the Belt and Road Initiative being introduced in 2013. That timing doesn’t seem correct. I remember the new Silk Road being talked about back in 2011 when I first arrived in China.
Of course, China has been buying up ports and facilities since the 1990’s.
I like the points you brought up, but I wonder if the editing had you making views that you don’t necessarily hold? It seemed like a very pro-China piece. I always wonder this when I see clipped together pieces.
I have so many mixed feelings about this.
And I do believe that a not insignificant chance of war exists between the US and China.
July 29, 2020, 11:52 am
Have you guys listened to or read Peter Zeihan, the geopolitical analyst? He has a new book out called Disunited Nations. His basic idea is that China is in for a world of hurt over the next decade. The CCP might have to ditch the Belt and hit the Road.
This is just a clip. You can find longer recent interviews with Zeihan on YouTube. I have no idea if what he says is accurate, but he has a engaging style of delivery.
In one scenario he lays out, China will break apart into separate Warring Kingdoms, so to speak. That could be pretty wild.
July 29, 2020, 9:23 pm
Very informative. I’m still teachable
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