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Is China as Strong as It Seems?

Robert Gifford gives a talk on China's many successes as well as the economic, environmental, ethnic faultlines.

May 19, 2008 12:00am

Monday, May 19
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Robert Gifford, NPR London Correspondent

After six years as NPR's Beijing correspondent, Rob Gifford took a final two-month journey across China, before leaving to become NPR's London bureau chief. The road he travelled was Route 312, the Chinese Route 66, which stretches from Shanghai to the Kazakh border. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Gifford documents the journey in his recent book China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power. His talk will, like his book, take the road as a prism through which to see modern China, and the human drama taking place in the lives of ordinary Chinese people. It will look at the country's many successes but also especially at the faultlines -- economic, environmental, ethnic -- that are emerging across the country, and he will ask whether China really can become the superpower that everyone is predicting.

Robert Gifford has reported from around the world for NPR, especially in Asia and Europe. Two days after the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, Gifford flew to Pakistan for the first of many reporting trips to the Muslim world. Born and raised in the UK, Gifford 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.