Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of China Syndrome, reviews Rob Gifford‘s China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power for the Los Angeles Times:
Almost every reporter who has covered China has weighed doing the Big Journey-through-China-story, starting in the far west or extreme south and making one’s way by various squalid means of transport to Beijing or the Yalu River. What dissuades most of us is the fact that travel anywhere in China takes so long, is so tedious ” and slightly dangerous.
Whenever foreign correspondents gather in China, they exchange stories of harrowing experiences on its highways, roads and dirt paths, many having to do with the fact that there are more than 100 million trucks but seemingly only a million working brake lights. At night, driving fast down a narrow ribbon of road to make an appointment in the next county, you notice these lumbering trucks only when you are practically beneath their rear bumpers. In China, though it is the cradle of Taoism, a trip is more often about the destination than the journey. [Full Text]