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Talking China’s Ghost Cities On ABC News ‘The World’

In other media.

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic- I was recently featured in an ABC television news segment about China’s ghost cities. ABC is the biggest broadcaster in Australia, and is their equivalent of Britain’s BBC or Canada’s CBC. Here’s the video:

Here’s the online article: China’s eerie ghost cities a ‘symptom’ of the country’s economic troubles and housing bubble.

While I don’t completely agree with the main analysis of these pieces I don’t have to. The job of the journalist is to collect a variety of perspectives, data, and observations and combine them into their view of an issue or topic. I’m sure I’ve published articles before that didn’t fall in line with the dominant views of some of the people that I interviewed. By having me on with the son of Anne Stevenson-Yang — one of the most prominent China bears … ever — they successfully presented polar opposite takes on China’s ghost city phenomenon and, journalistically speaking, covered their bases. In other words, they earned the right to say what they said.

(As a side note, I’m thrilled that there is a new generation of Stevenson-Yang coming up that I can go on international TV with presenting an odd sort of Larry Flint / Billy Graham dichotomy.)

What I’m kind of irritated with myself about is that they mostly relied on my video footage of China’s new cities but I failed to stress that these videos were from 2012-2015, and most of the places they featured look nothing like that today — the constructions sites are now completed and businesses have moved in; the empty streets now have people in them.

What I really like is that the video of my interview came out well. I get invitations to do TV interview relatively often and due to my travels the networks often want to do the interviews on Skype, which comes out like complete shit. I travel with a full rig of professional video equipment so lately I’ve been offering to film the interview myself and then send over the files. This seems to work out far better than Skype.

Overall, I enjoy going on ABC. This was the second or third time I’ve been included in their programing.

Listen to me talk about China’s New Silk Road on ABC Radio:

Read the article: Why China is building a new Silk Road.

Filed under: China’s Ghost Cities, In Other Media

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 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. has written 3706 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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