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Rob  Gifford

Rob Gifford

China Editor, The Economist

Biography

An NPR Foreign Correspondent and China Editor of The Economist magazine, Rob Gifford authored the critically acclaimed China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power. Gifford speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and he has traveled from Tibet to the Muslim Northwest, to the border with North Korea filing news and feature stories for NPR News. Gifford also travels widely in East Asia for NPR, covering elections in Taiwan and East Timor and diplomatic visits to North Korea, and produced a range of features on everything from Christian missionaries in Mongolia to Internet start-ups in Hong Kong. Read More >

Shortly following the events of 9/11, Gifford flew to Pakistan for the first of many reporting trips to the region. Since then, he has continued to widely report on varied Islamic issues from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Southern Philippines.

Gifford was born and raised in the UK where he worked for three years at the BBC World Service before moving to the US in 1994 to attend graduate school. He also spent two years at NPR member station WGBH in Boston. He holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Durham University, UK, and an MA in Regional Studies (East Asia) from Harvard University. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

China Road

China Road records a two month journey along Route 312, the Chinese equivalent of Route 66.  The road flows three-thousand miles from east to west, passing through the factory towns of the coastal areas, through the rural heart of China, then up into the Gobi Desert, where it merges with the old Silk Road. The highway witnesses every part of the social and economic revolution that is turning China upside down.  Read More >

Gifford tells the story of his journey through the lives of the colorful Chinese characters he meets along the way:  garrulous talk show hosts and ambitious yuppies, impoverished peasants and tragic prostitutes, cell phone salesmen, AIDS patients and Tibetan monks.  Using the road trip as a prism to view modern China, he asks bigger questions about where China is going, who the Chinese people are, and whether we in the West should be concerned about China’s rise. Read Less ^

A View of the Rest of the World from Europe

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