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From the bestselling author of The Silk Roads comes an updated, timely, and visionary book about the dramatic and profound changes our world is undergoing right now--as seen from the perspective of the rising powers of the East. "All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing." So argues Peter Frankopan in this revelatory new book. In the age of Brexit and Trump From the bestselling author of The Silk Roads comes an updated, timely, and visionary book about the dramatic and profound changes our world is undergoing right now--as seen from the perspective of the rising powers of the East. "All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing." So argues Peter Frankopan in this revelatory new book. In the age of Brexit and Trump, the West is buffeted by the tides of isolationism and fragmentation. Yet to the East, this is a moment of optimism as a new network of relationships takes shape along the ancient trade routes. In The New Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan takes us on an eye-opening journey through the region, from China's breathtaking infrastructure investments to the flood of trade deals among Central Asian republics to the growing rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. This important book asks us to put aside our preconceptions and see the world from a new--and ultimately hopeful--perspective.


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From the bestselling author of The Silk Roads comes an updated, timely, and visionary book about the dramatic and profound changes our world is undergoing right now--as seen from the perspective of the rising powers of the East. "All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing." So argues Peter Frankopan in this revelatory new book. In the age of Brexit and Trump From the bestselling author of The Silk Roads comes an updated, timely, and visionary book about the dramatic and profound changes our world is undergoing right now--as seen from the perspective of the rising powers of the East. "All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing." So argues Peter Frankopan in this revelatory new book. In the age of Brexit and Trump, the West is buffeted by the tides of isolationism and fragmentation. Yet to the East, this is a moment of optimism as a new network of relationships takes shape along the ancient trade routes. In The New Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan takes us on an eye-opening journey through the region, from China's breathtaking infrastructure investments to the flood of trade deals among Central Asian republics to the growing rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. This important book asks us to put aside our preconceptions and see the world from a new--and ultimately hopeful--perspective.

30 review for The New Silk Roads: The New Asia and the Remaking of the World Order

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    This is the modern version of Peter's wonderful history of Silk roads, so really should be read after reading the first one. Peter reckons that Russia, China, and Iran are forming the new challenge to the American top slot of the lone superpower in the world, with Turkey and Pakistan forming their scouts who will engage with the Americans to test its patience. China is effectively gearing up for a fight for the top spot after spending billions in many poor countries selling their alternate ideol This is the modern version of Peter's wonderful history of Silk roads, so really should be read after reading the first one. Peter reckons that Russia, China, and Iran are forming the new challenge to the American top slot of the lone superpower in the world, with Turkey and Pakistan forming their scouts who will engage with the Americans to test its patience. China is effectively gearing up for a fight for the top spot after spending billions in many poor countries selling their alternate ideology of helping them with real money and asking for nothing back, well I guess once the fight is on they will ask these countries to support them. It also seems to be that the new Nexus is a lot more united together as opposed to the Western opponents with their very toxic democracies. If I had read his book a few months ago I would have questioned some of his assertions, but in the light of the current Iranian embargo by the Americans, I am inclined to accept his narrative.

  2. 5 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    I am under-whelmed and disappointed with The New Silk Roads. For one, I was expecting something more profound. Rather, the author just gives us a list of news stories from the last 3-4 years and expects this to carry the book. Where is the analysis? Where are the opinions? The book basically regurgitates multiple points of view without actually adding anything new. I am sorely disappointed. Avoid this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Conceived originally as a kind of postscript or epilogue to The Silk Roads that Frankopan released to much acclaim in 2015, this is more extended essay than full book. Covering the period from 2015 to 2018 as well as theorising about what may happen in the future, this is an intelligent, well-argued, evenhanded piece on the global financial, political, and cultural world of today. He's one of those writers who make you think: oh I get it now. He does this not by simplifying ideas but by writing Conceived originally as a kind of postscript or epilogue to The Silk Roads that Frankopan released to much acclaim in 2015, this is more extended essay than full book. Covering the period from 2015 to 2018 as well as theorising about what may happen in the future, this is an intelligent, well-argued, evenhanded piece on the global financial, political, and cultural world of today. He's one of those writers who make you think: oh I get it now. He does this not by simplifying ideas but by writing in a clear, well-organised style, each argument backed with pertinent evidence. The construction of history and contemporary journalism somewhat necessitates the framing of issues within specific boxes: time periods, countries, genres, etc. But what Frankopan effectively attempted in his first book is continued in this volume: highlighting the interconnectedness of the world, the way one change here can influence something there that might initially seem entirely unrelated or too distanced by geography or time. It's a pertinent reminder that not only is change normal, but that it is essential to look globally as well as locally when thinking about how humanity is going to develop in the coming decades. Regardless of whether you take his conclusions on board, this is a fascinating and important evaluation of the status quo, and one which offers valuable warnings or perhaps encouragement for the future, depending on the way you choose to see it. A must read for understanding the world as it is and as it will be. ARC via Netgalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    This isn't so much a book in its own right as an updated addendum to Frankopan's The Silk Roads. Essentially a long essay or thought piece, it reviews recent developments to 2018 in the sphere of global politics and broadly argues that whereas the old Silk Road nations are moving towards collaboration and constructive partnerships, the west is fragmenting and isolating: think Brexit or Trump's America First war cries. Of course, Frankopan is more nuanced than that... Worth a read for a top-level This isn't so much a book in its own right as an updated addendum to Frankopan's The Silk Roads. Essentially a long essay or thought piece, it reviews recent developments to 2018 in the sphere of global politics and broadly argues that whereas the old Silk Road nations are moving towards collaboration and constructive partnerships, the west is fragmenting and isolating: think Brexit or Trump's America First war cries. Of course, Frankopan is more nuanced than that... Worth a read for a top-level view of what's driving the world today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

    Peter Frankopan is so on top of his subject that what he wrote in this book, published in 2018, is acutely more relevant than it was at the time he wrote it. So often books on contemporary politics fall rapidly out of date, but not this one. Frankopan’s essential thesis is that China is actively stimulating development of new wealth for itself and others through massive investment projects across much of the world, not just central Asia. The rising wealth of China is affecting the whole world. C Peter Frankopan is so on top of his subject that what he wrote in this book, published in 2018, is acutely more relevant than it was at the time he wrote it. So often books on contemporary politics fall rapidly out of date, but not this one. Frankopan’s essential thesis is that China is actively stimulating development of new wealth for itself and others through massive investment projects across much of the world, not just central Asia. The rising wealth of China is affecting the whole world. China is reaching across Asia, into Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean to build Silk Roads of the future, investing in transport and other infrastructure that will give China access to the resources it needs for economic growth and open new markets in which to sell goods. As its wealth grows, so does its assertion of political power. The obsessive focus on the White House and Brexit has meant other parts of the world have been ignored and the big picture lost from view. Frankopan conveys an acute awareness that a new world is rapidly taking shape, as Chinese power and influence grows mostly according to plan; the US lurches unpredictably from error to error and Europe is struggling to retain coherence. As I write, China has just acted to suppress dissent in Hong Kong; continues to build defence capacity in disputed seas on the Pacific and along the Indian border in the Himalayas; and is cranking up a mighty stoush with the Australian government, attempting to control Australian decision making. From where we sit, its growing threat to our economy and water resources become more alarming by the week (yes, Chinese State-owned companies have been allowed to buy water resources in parts of Australia where water is a scarce and increasingly precious commodity). He remarks ‘the fact is that across many parts of the developed world in the west, politicians, voters and governments are taking steps to diminish cooperation with each other, to disengage from agreements that were made in the past and which now appear unwanted, imperfect and, indeed counterproductive. The hopeful optimism of working towards common interests and mutual benefits has given way to suspicion and distrust and, more importantly, toward action designed to allow each other to go their own way’. The west is in danger of becoming less and less relevant. This should be essential reading for anyone aiming to understand the contemporary world. The author hopes that improved understanding of geopolitics can help to see opportunities for collaboration and cooperation and help frame better decision making. I would love to agree with him, but I don't see many signs for optimism.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Henk

    A caleidoscope of sources but light on personal touches and overall analysis - 2,5 stars rounded down The Silkroads from Peter Frankopan is one of my favourite non-fiction read, big history done well and in a surprising manner. This follow up on the modern world in comparison dissapoints. The sources and facts are plentiful but a synthesis and some kind of meaningful extrapolation to the near future lacks. We have open door conclusions like “America first is not as easy as it seems” and “no one kn A caleidoscope of sources but light on personal touches and overall analysis - 2,5 stars rounded down The Silkroads from Peter Frankopan is one of my favourite non-fiction read, big history done well and in a surprising manner. This follow up on the modern world in comparison dissapoints. The sources and facts are plentiful but a synthesis and some kind of meaningful extrapolation to the near future lacks. We have open door conclusions like “America first is not as easy as it seems” and “no one knows if the promised amounts for the belt and road initiative will be fully matched by real investments”. While reading the book I also lacked some kind of on the ground perspective from Frankopan. I think this book would have gained in strength if you’d get some kind of feel of what normal people going through these major economic changes experience and feel. Now it is not even that evident that the author has visited the countries the book revolves around often. The road and belt initiative and the general economic shift to the East and particularly China is a fascinating development. Besides a sobering recap of the shopping spree through the West, there are some whopping infrastructure investments summed up. Some of these projects seem very sensible and build energy security and better ways of reaching end customers, while others feel more graft and prestige oriented. For instance a $2.3 billion airport in Asjchabad, Turkmenistan, able to process 17 million passengers a year was realised while in 2015 there were only 105.000 travellers. Or what to think of a railroad in Laos which would add 60% of GDP to the national debt. In some restructuring of debt China has either taken over control of the facilities or has agreed to a landswap to settle the outstanding amount, which makes you wonder how long the win-win mantra will be upheld in tougher circumstances. Finally some perspective on the rise of the silk road countries is welcome: the income in Kyrgyzstan per person is only slightly above $1.000 per person and 1/4 of that of Angola for instance. Counter to this is an introspective EU, focussed on Brexit and president Trump. America losing 70% of it’s career diplomats in 2017 and 40% of key roles in the executive branch of government being unfulfilled after a year of Trump’s election doesn’t spell out much good for the soft power of America that has for so long dominated the international order. Albeit the military power of the US is enormous, China is making clear forays into controlling the South Chinese sea and is building up capabilities in fields like cyber and AI at a breakneck pace. The translation of this book to Dutch seems very literal, broken promises, sharply aware or a ship that has set sail are not things you can just say one on one in Dutch in a natural manner. Also somewhere Magube as president of Zimbabwe popped up. All in all a sloppy finishing touch to a work that lacked depth and a personal touch. Often I had the feeling I was reading an Economist report instead of a personal reflection from the author.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer

    Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” was one of my favourite books of 2016. A hugely ambitious history of the world told very deliberately from a viewpoint centred on the areas of Central Asia, the Middle East and Southern Russia (and the trade routes that linked them) rather than the usual Eurocentric view and also written very much from a top down political/military/economic viewpoint of great people and events rather than as a social history, the book proceeded chrono Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” was one of my favourite books of 2016. A hugely ambitious history of the world told very deliberately from a viewpoint centred on the areas of Central Asia, the Middle East and Southern Russia (and the trade routes that linked them) rather than the usual Eurocentric view and also written very much from a top down political/military/economic viewpoint of great people and events rather than as a social history, the book proceeded chronologically but with each chapter Road themed (the road to Furs, Revolution, Gold, Empire etc.). I found it an excellent book – albeit I thought the final chapter (which tried to look at this region – particularly the Central Asian “stans”) was by far the weakest – perhaps something that should have served as a warning to me. This book started out as an additional chapter to a new edition of the earlier book, but turned into a book in its own right. Its key aim is to examine contemporary developments in the region of the earlier book – with a particular but not exclusive focus on China and Russia, and how their developments are in turn playing out in countries like Pakistan, Iran and the Central Asian ex-Soviet republics. A key area which both binds the region together and the book – is China’s “One Belt and Road” initiative which very consciously seeks to re-instigate a modern day Silk Road on both land (the Belt) and sea (the Road) – and to extend that Road much further afield including even Africa, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The author repeatedly contrasts the ambitious and focused foreign policy of China (and Russia) – with their global ambitions to build infrastructure alongside alliances – with what he sees as the introspective and aimless drifting of Western and Central Europe (with the drift into nationalism and away from Union) and the unpredictability and contradictory foreign policy of Trump-era US (with its repudiation of alliances). The concept of the book is an excellent one – the execution a different matter. The book starts reasonably strongly with a chapter (like the previous book all chapter titles are Road themed) showing how much of European and American business and culture (from trophy buildings to luxury brands to sports teams) is now owned by Silk-Road countries, but then loses its way in a second chapter with rather unconvincing claims for the string of alliances being built among Central Asian companies (much of which seems taken from press releases of rather meaningless proclamations of intent on cross-country visits). A third chapter concentrates on the Belt and Road, before the last two chapters look at the rivalry between the US and the region and how this may play out in future. Too much of the book (in fact to be honest pretty well all of it) consists of page after page of summarised newspaper and internet articles. Almost 50 pages of closely typed references speak to the assiduous research that has taken place, but, in too many cases, there is a lack of really clear synthesis or critical analysis of the articles. Further I felt the book lacked any real colour or anecdote to bring it alive. It was even unclear to me, at least from the text, that the the author had even regularly visited the region while researching the book – he seems to have been more of an Internet Explorer and spent more time on Twitter than in Turkmenistan. Overall I have to unfortunately conclude that the author is a brilliant writer as an historian (his Byzantine-centric view of the Crusades was my first book of this year), but of middling ability as a current affairs commentator. Although the theme and premise of the book is valid and critically important – it would I think have been much better covered in a combination of an Economist Special Report (which would have bought rigour and structure to the factual analysis) and some Sunday-glossy style articles (to provide some real colour)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Radiantflux

    55th book for 2019. Too many facts; not enough analysis. 2-stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jaya

    3.5-informative-yet-underwhelming- starred-read

  10. 5 out of 5

    Travel.with.a.book

    Peter Frankopan has amazed us with another masterpiece book with a wide review of the important events happening in Asia and how they will affect the future! This book is more like an epilogue of his previous extremely interesting book, but it has many details that are quite mind-blowing to read! . Frankopan seeks to consider what the present and the future have in store for the Silk road countries and it really is enjoyable, in his analysis of this expanding economic development the Author has fo Peter Frankopan has amazed us with another masterpiece book with a wide review of the important events happening in Asia and how they will affect the future! This book is more like an epilogue of his previous extremely interesting book, but it has many details that are quite mind-blowing to read! . Frankopan seeks to consider what the present and the future have in store for the Silk road countries and it really is enjoyable, in his analysis of this expanding economic development the Author has followed Chinese investment into Southern Asia and it really is so interesting and intriguing to read! . The book has also a unique and beautiful design that will glad your eyes only to see it, but the writings within the book are even more astounding! It really has valuable informations about the current state of the world politically and geographically! The most important part I enjoyed was the Author emphasising the importance of countries in Central Asia or places like Pakistan in the global power play! . It really is worth reading this compelling book because it has full Frankopan stylr of writings and his analysis are so intriguing and compulsive which makes it hard to believe but very true in future!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    I haven’t had the benefit of reading the author’s The Silk Roads and am not encouraged to do so from reading what is essentially an appendix / update to it. I found this hard going. It feels like he has gone through news reports from the last three years and just listed everything that’s happening. I didn’t find much in the way of analysis. In summing up, Frankopan warns western readers not to focus solely on China, Russia and Iran when looking for reasons why the world is presently a more unsta I haven’t had the benefit of reading the author’s The Silk Roads and am not encouraged to do so from reading what is essentially an appendix / update to it. I found this hard going. It feels like he has gone through news reports from the last three years and just listed everything that’s happening. I didn’t find much in the way of analysis. In summing up, Frankopan warns western readers not to focus solely on China, Russia and Iran when looking for reasons why the world is presently a more unstable place. Instead, they should look closer to home, particularly in the US. That’s an opinion that can be read in many newspapers around the world just now. With thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing and NetGalley for a review copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is more or less a postscript to Peter Frankopans' The Silk Road, released in 2016. Whilst the first book My review was quite an in depth history of the Silk Roads stemming from the East and their trade relations with the rest of the World, the conclusion never really covered the modern day that well. This latest book, coming in at just over three-hundred pages was released late in 2018 and it essentially deals with how the East (the China, Iran, Pakistan, India and Moscow and Caucasus State This is more or less a postscript to Peter Frankopans' The Silk Road, released in 2016. Whilst the first book My review was quite an in depth history of the Silk Roads stemming from the East and their trade relations with the rest of the World, the conclusion never really covered the modern day that well. This latest book, coming in at just over three-hundred pages was released late in 2018 and it essentially deals with how the East (the China, Iran, Pakistan, India and Moscow and Caucasus States alliance/axis) is really on the rise, with trade agreements between these countries, instigated by the slowly Industrial power-house China is becoming, or has become. Whilst the US under Trump has become more and more protectionist in imposing trade tariffs against countries such as China and Iran, much to their detriment in the long term, China is open to negotiating trade deals with all the Asian countries, instead of isolating itself. This is the 'New Silk Roads', the modern version if you like of the old trade in spices, silks, slaves that, arguably helped the West develop. Today it is about Oil and Natural Resources, Arms and Weaponry, Modern Tech and so on. Whilst this is quite a short book, I do suggest reading the first book initially (even that is over 600 pages long), and maybe I would suggest also having some interest in Economics too. It is Economic heavy, and I did have to re-read certain paragraphs, not that it is that academically written, but I believe you need to have some understanding of the political situation in the world today, especially of the role of China and Iran (and no lesser India and Russia too). And obviously Donald Trump and his dangerous agenda. Alliances are the key in our modern world, and Peter Frankopan suggests towards the end of the book that whilst the West today is floundering, the Asian Countries are developing much more rapidly and posing a 'threat' that is replacing that of the US due to their isolationist outlook. Good book, but heavy going, and I would recommend to Political, History and Economic students, as well as to the average lay reader who shows an interest in the future of our World. 4 stars, but the first chapter was quite heavy going. Afterwards it became more interesting with the rise of China and the role of Iran and the Middle East.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I loved the original Silk Road by Frankopan--this book is a pointless update. It's just a survey of what is happening with Chinese and Middle eastern trade policy. I loved the original Silk Road by Frankopan--this book is a pointless update. It's just a survey of what is happening with Chinese and Middle eastern trade policy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    If the genre of “political Sinophile erotica” did not previously exist then I would like to congratulate Mr. Frankopan on being its founder. I purchased the book hoping to find a thought-provoking update to Frankopan’s interesting 2015 book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. What I found was a hastily-crafted distillation of that previous book which takes Frankopan’s admiration of China and anti-Americanism to brave new heights without offering any really new or useful analysis of the c If the genre of “political Sinophile erotica” did not previously exist then I would like to congratulate Mr. Frankopan on being its founder. I purchased the book hoping to find a thought-provoking update to Frankopan’s interesting 2015 book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. What I found was a hastily-crafted distillation of that previous book which takes Frankopan’s admiration of China and anti-Americanism to brave new heights without offering any really new or useful analysis of the current situation in the Silk Road countries. At the beginning of the book, Frankopan notes that he originally intended the work as a postscript to his previous book. That is exactly what he should have done. Instead, what he produced was a goulash that is part book report, part love letter to China, and part jeremiad against the United States and Donald Trump. At a quarter of its ultimate length, the book may have been the interesting update I was hoping for. In its ultimate form, however, I cannot recommend this book to anybody looking for a serious analysis of the subject matter unless you, too, share Frankopan’s infatuation with China or his visceral hatred of the United States. Physically, the book is divided into five chapters. In reality, the book is divided into four themes. The first theme is an entirely-too-long compilation of recent joint statements released by Central Asian state media organizations. Frankopan exhaustively summarizes every announcement of Central Asian bilateral cooperation made during the past few years. In statement after statement, country X and country Y pledge billions of dollars and exchange meaningless platitudes that promise to improve relationships and “widen and deepen cooperation” along some line of effort. Proposals to build pipelines, proposals to build infrastructure, proposals to work together to achieve peace and harmony and etc. I haven’t the patience to count all the instances of the word “proposal” in this book but if it is less than 1,000, I would be surprised. This litany of proposals is supposed to illustrate the connectivity and cooperation that is happening in the region. However, as he does with virtually everything else in this book, especially China’s Belt and Road announcements, Frankopan takes these “proposals” at face value. If you added all of these proposals up, you would probably find that a significant proportion of the world’s GDP has been committed to developing Central Asia alone. If proposals were dollars (or yuan) then Central Asia would be drowning in cash. The fact is that most of these proposals are (in some cases literally) pipe dreams. It is very easy to make grandiose plans and say nice words. Putting those plans into action, much less financing them, is much more difficult. Frankopan does make a feeble acknowledgment of this but then dismisses it by saying that if even a portion of these proposals is fulfilled then the region will be drastically advanced. A reader can easily get the gist of this chapter by skimming a few pages or, better yet, reading a couple of the source documents themselves. No need to torture yourself with more. The second theme of the book is a shameless panegyric to China. Frankopan made his Sinophilia clear in his previous book but, in this work, his admiration for China goes beyond awe and approaches sexual arousal. The reader can well imagine the author having to take frequent breaks for cold showers during the writing of this section in order to tame his passions. The majority of the chapter is dedicated to championing China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI. Frankopan breathlessly extolls China’s brilliance in offering generous financing and construction offers to help countries around the world build ports, roads, power stations, and other much-needed infrastructure projects. In paragraph after paragraph, Frankopan shows how the clever Chinese are outmaneuvering the moribund West from Australia to Zimbabwe by “enhancing cooperation,” providing “win-win scenarios” and promoting “mutual understanding.” This soft power play is apparently winning China friends and influencing people on an unprecedented scale and is paving the way for China’s “peaceful” rise and superpower status. In his gushing praise of the BRI, Frankopan commits the same sin to which most Sinophiles, and many Sinophobes, seem to fall victim: holding the belief that China has a grand, 500-year strategy and is playing 12-dimensional chess while the West is playing checkers. Frankopan seems to believe that each piece of the BRI is a deeply-considered action designed to give China some kind of strategic or economic advantage. It never seems to occur to Frankopan that China may just be shooting from the hip, attempting to both purchase influence around the world while simultaneously finding new projects where it can employ its massive construction industry now that domestic demand is drying up. The fact that many of the BRI projects do not make economic sense and will inevitably result in economic losses seems to be a problem that Frankopan doesn’t wish to address. Frankopan seems to believe that, when it comes to the BRI, not only is there such a thing as a free lunch, but China will pay you to eat it. China’s use of the BRI to force countries into debt bondage, its failure to employ local labor in construction of the projects, and its purchase of enormous swaths of land in developing countries are all regrettable but necessary complications. Western imperialism BAD! Chinese imperialism GOOD! The third theme of the book is a jeremiad against the United States. In this section, Frankopan uses Donald Trump’s foreign policy ignorance as a foil for China’s strategic brilliance. The United States has, for the past 74 years, devoted an enormous amount of effort and treasure to creating and maintaining the current stable and prosperous international order. However, Frankopan attempts to convince the reader that, with a few short tweets, Donald Trump has wrecked the entire structure. Further, Frankopan argues that, rather than attempting to overturn the current international order in its favor, China is dedicated to upholding the current structure. To him, it is “…obvious that, far from being a subversive power seeking to undermine the international liberal order… China is, in fact, conspicuous in the way it works within institutions…” No, Mr. Frankopan, it is not obvious. Anybody who has battled against China’s flouting of WTO rules and norms, its aggressive use of non-tariff barriers, its onerous technology sharing requirements, its belligerent, State-sponsored commercial espionage program, its Finlandization of its ASEAN neighbors, or its support for brutal authoritarian regimes can tell you. These are not the actions of a government intent on upholding the existing liberal international order. In his defense, Frankopan does briefly wag a finger at China for such actions as creating the world’s largest concentration camp to detain and “re-educate” its Uighur minority and illegally seizing and militarizing vast swaths of the South China Sea. However, as Frankopan concedes with a literary shrug, China has security needs, too! As a side note, I find Frankopan’s obvious scorn for Donald Trump to be confusing. Given his respect for Central Asia’s autocratic leaders, his esteem for Vladimir Putin, and his reverence for Xi Jinping, Frankopan should be a natural admirer of Trump. Why does Trump, who once declared Kim Jong Un to be “my friend”, deserve such short shrift? Is it because he is an American? Or because he has taken actions detrimental to China’s interests? Or possibly both? The final theme of the book is supposed to be a look into the future. However, Frankopan is a much better historian than he is a futurist. This part of the book was hastily written and even contains some obvious errors, like the statement that SpaceX is using Russian RD-180 engines on its rockets. (SpaceX uses proprietary engines. The United Launch Alliance does use the RD-180 on its Atlas V booster, but only until a replacement is developed.) The rest is a stream-of-consciousness mishmash where Frankopan delves into artificial intelligence, bashes the United States again, defends the Iranian regime, loves on China one last time, and then finally, blessedly, brings the book to a conclusion. There is a place in the international political affairs genre for dissenting voices that don’t parrot the classic Western talking points. Frankopan made a bold contribution with his previous work. This book, however, does not live up to its predecessor’s analytical rigor. Instead, it takes its predecessor’s already harsh anti-Occidentalism into levels of hysterical screeching. There are better treatments of the subject matter - I suggest you read them instead.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    The follow up to The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, which became a bestseller Here, Frankpan picks up the story and looks at the present. The focus is on economics, trade and political developments. Western economies have become inert, their growth has been overtaken and the dynamism is in the east. While much attention has been paid to the rise of populism across the world, that masks what are arguably more important goings on that are covered in this book. The news media really needs The follow up to The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, which became a bestseller Here, Frankpan picks up the story and looks at the present. The focus is on economics, trade and political developments. Western economies have become inert, their growth has been overtaken and the dynamism is in the east. While much attention has been paid to the rise of populism across the world, that masks what are arguably more important goings on that are covered in this book. The news media really needs to have a greater emphasis on Asia as a whole, and less on Trump's latest tweet. What happens in China will deeply effect the rest of the world due to the interconnected financial markets, and trade that is deeply dependent on China. The next global crash could very well start in China. While the United States remains the global hegemon, its foreign policy has become confused under the Trump administration. It is virtually impossible to predict what Trump will do next. The State Department loses funding and many posts are unfilled. This is at a time when China and Russia have been court allies. Rivalries abound between Saudi Arabia and Iran, India and Pakistan, Many of the countries around China Pakistan is an exception. We do not know how Trump's trade war with China will turn out. At the time of writing, there is a major incident between Russia and Ukraine, and it is unknown how the situation will be resolved. But it is a result of Russia's undeclared (and forgotten) war in Ukraine that has been waging since he annexation of Crimea. Russian aggression needs to be countered. There are pop culture trends that also point the direction of the new silk roads, although they aren't mentioned in this book. K-pop has rapidly become one of the most popular music genres in the world (I doubt if anyone saw that coming). Pewdiepie, for a long time the world's most subscribed YouTube channel, is about to be dethroned by T series, an Indian music service. The rapid growth of the internet in India, a country where more people have access to a mobile phone than a flushing toilet, Both K-pop and T series indicative of the trends in this book, but they are cultural trends. What happens in culture is more significant than political events. I wish Frankopan had written about the cultural shifts. Although an important issue that is not covered in this book is migration. Despite the rise of the new silk roads, migrants in their millions still look west rather than east and Europe is the preferred destination. The migrant crisis has been disaster for Europe. The increase in terrorist attacks is one of the many problems. How does the future look? Right now, half the world is now middle class or wealthier, which is a remarkable development that everyone needs to know, as it ought to be headline news everywhere. The dramatic reductions in poverty over the last 50 years has now led us here. That needs to be taken into account going forward. But automation (not covered in this book) threatens to put millions out of work. Predicting the future has always been a tricky business, but technological developments and risk posed by automation has to be one of the big political issues that is discussed in election cycles. For more, I suggest reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

  16. 5 out of 5

    A Man Called Ove

    3.5/5 The author's Silk Roads is one of the best and most refreshing books on world history that I have read and so I had to read this one too. This book was conceived as an epilogue to Silk Roads and then was finally published as a separate book. As a friend commented, this reads like "stitched headlines" from the recent years (published in 2018) with a focus on China (and Central Asia). The book described the rise of Asian countries and its implications pretty well. The One Belt One Road intiat 3.5/5 The author's Silk Roads is one of the best and most refreshing books on world history that I have read and so I had to read this one too. This book was conceived as an epilogue to Silk Roads and then was finally published as a separate book. As a friend commented, this reads like "stitched headlines" from the recent years (published in 2018) with a focus on China (and Central Asia). The book described the rise of Asian countries and its implications pretty well. The One Belt One Road intiative has been covered in quite some detail. So has the USA vs China rivalry and the various shifting political alignments. One thing is for clear, it is not a unilateral world any more. Even less so with a lunatic at the helm of USA who doesnt believe in international institutions. Like the Silk Roads, there are some great facts and insights that made this worth reading. But, on the other hand wish this had the length and depth of Silk Roads too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anton

    Not so much of a stand-alone non-fiction book but rather an extended (and revised) epilogue to the excellent The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. But even if you jumped straight in - there is still plenty to enjoy. I reckon it offers very fine journalist writing with an essential & insightful digest of the recent affairs (2016/17 onwards). Peter is a fantastic storyteller and he really helps to ‘join the pieces’ together and allow to see the patterns in time. I would wish more people read Not so much of a stand-alone non-fiction book but rather an extended (and revised) epilogue to the excellent The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. But even if you jumped straight in - there is still plenty to enjoy. I reckon it offers very fine journalist writing with an essential & insightful digest of the recent affairs (2016/17 onwards). Peter is a fantastic storyteller and he really helps to ‘join the pieces’ together and allow to see the patterns in time. I would wish more people read this book with some level of attention paid to the premises and conclusions if offers. PS: this was my first completed Audible book as well!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andy Irwin

    Littered with typos and poorly edited, I can only assume there was a rush to get this out in time to get it in the hardback displays for Christmas. It requires revision for the paperback edition because this is a shoddy and irritating oversight from an eminent scholar. It is also littered with statistics and only ever reaches the level of a quasi analysis of the current state of play in international relations. For much of the book, I found myself saying “yes that’s right” - which always worries Littered with typos and poorly edited, I can only assume there was a rush to get this out in time to get it in the hardback displays for Christmas. It requires revision for the paperback edition because this is a shoddy and irritating oversight from an eminent scholar. It is also littered with statistics and only ever reaches the level of a quasi analysis of the current state of play in international relations. For much of the book, I found myself saying “yes that’s right” - which always worries me. I’m no expert on international relations or foreign affairs, but I knew 80% of the content already, and the chapters meander unhelpfully so the book as an entity is more a selection of barely complimentary tapas dishes than a balanced meal, and I sense that isn’t what the author intended. It lacks argument and clear structure, the facts, insights and snippets of speeches are interesting - particularly in relation to the Trump Administration’s approach to foreign policy and its contrast to China’s (to the US’s detriment). Ultimately, it feels half-baked and in need of another six months’ refinement and reflection. If this was a book that led us up to, say, 2016, with some brief musings on the Trumpocalypse at the end, it would have been the better for limiting itself. If one is to take us right to the present day, it should have an insight more valuable than China = strategic; US = chaotic and isolationist. No shit.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    This is the companion volume to the earlier historical work by the author. It works as a contemporary analysis in the age of Brexit and Trump. As a futures work it is far less convincing. I think that this is because it struggles to escape from the present, and falls into the trap of seeing the future as the same as the present, only more so. I am very taken by the analysis of the present. In many respects, the opening of this book continues the story of the previous book. The previous book more This is the companion volume to the earlier historical work by the author. It works as a contemporary analysis in the age of Brexit and Trump. As a futures work it is far less convincing. I think that this is because it struggles to escape from the present, and falls into the trap of seeing the future as the same as the present, only more so. I am very taken by the analysis of the present. In many respects, the opening of this book continues the story of the previous book. The previous book more or less comes to today. This books starts in the recent past and updates us on where we are today. It charts the movement in the locus of the world economy back eastwards again. It establishes the Heart of the World as a central component in our story. It highlights the role of trade and economic interdependence as the basis upon which out prosperity rests. In a globalised world, our gaze shifts back to where it was before the Industrial Revolution. The rise of Asia has been at the expense of the western nations. More precisely, at the expense of the working and middle classes of the western nations. And they don't like it. The author sees this as the underpinnings of both Trump and his 'America First' philosophy, and Brexit nd the 'Taking Back Control' philosophy. The rivalry between the US and China pre-dates Trump, but Trump has given the rivalry a sharper edge. On reflection, this process can be seen in the alarms of the 1980s, when the fear was that Japan would dominate the western nations. That didn't happen, but the fear remains. This provides the key to the future. We have a resurgent China, a Russia that has found itself after the Communist interlude, and more assertive Iran, and a more dynamic India. This is the lens, according to the author, through which we shall view the future. I am not so sure. It may be a bit early to write off Europe and North America just yet. The dynamism that brought them to prominence three hundred years ago is still there. Africa is another area that has the opportunity to develop its potential in this century. We cannot write off Africa either. However, it is hard to dispute that Asia will loom large in our emergent futures. The question is whether we should resist or accommodate that rise? My inclination is to accommodate rather than to resist. Not everyone agrees. It will be interesting to see how this tussle plays out in the coming years. What we can say for certain is that we occupy a point of change, and that the future is likely to be quite different from the past.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Murad

    If you are a well-read person and keep yourself updated with world affairs then this might be a cliched read for you. The author has tried his best to analyse the news pieces from different parts of the world along with the tweets of President Trump and speeches of different world leaders at different forums. One can understand various events differently when it comes to world politics and that's how the author of this book has analysed the events taking place in the last 3-4 years vis-a-vis the If you are a well-read person and keep yourself updated with world affairs then this might be a cliched read for you. The author has tried his best to analyse the news pieces from different parts of the world along with the tweets of President Trump and speeches of different world leaders at different forums. One can understand various events differently when it comes to world politics and that's how the author of this book has analysed the events taking place in the last 3-4 years vis-a-vis the New Silk Roads of which China is the main architect as the author has rightly mentioned, "All the roads used to lead to Rome. Today, they lead to Beijing." The Chapter, "The Roads to Beijing" is a thorough analysis of China's BRI. However, the author did not mention the term "Geo-economics" not even once in this chapter which, I believe, would have summarised China's motives behind the BRI. The author has rightly put somewhere that the change in the world order may or may not be because of China's ambitions under BRI but because of the US' return to the isolationist policy under President Trump which the events in near future will unfold. Overall, a good refreshing read highlighting the importance of connectivity, cooperation and dependence (mainly created by China under BRI). However, I personally felt that the author has (deliberately) not touched upon the role of institutions initiated/dominated by China i.e. NDB (BRICS Bank), AIIB and SCO which might play a greater role in shaping new Sino-Centric world order.

  21. 5 out of 5

    booknerd.winelover

    "The Silk Roads are rising fast...What happens in the heart of the world in the coming years will shape the next hundred." This book is a "continuation" or an update if you will of his previous book. With an intriguing, enjoyable and detailed analysis for the countries of the Silk Roads in the geopolitical puzzle. "The Silk Roads are rising fast...What happens in the heart of the world in the coming years will shape the next hundred." This book is a "continuation" or an update if you will of his previous book. With an intriguing, enjoyable and detailed analysis for the countries of the Silk Roads in the geopolitical puzzle.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan, is an interesting analysis of the shifting geopolitics of our current world. Frankopan writes of the increasingly central role of Asia (in particular, Central Asia) in terms of political, social, economic and cultural importance. With the initiation of China's One Belt, One Road initiative, many China watchers have been closely scrutinizing the numerous multi-billion dollar projects popping up in Central Asia, South Asia The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan, is an interesting analysis of the shifting geopolitics of our current world. Frankopan writes of the increasingly central role of Asia (in particular, Central Asia) in terms of political, social, economic and cultural importance. With the initiation of China's One Belt, One Road initiative, many China watchers have been closely scrutinizing the numerous multi-billion dollar projects popping up in Central Asia, South Asia, and into the Middle East and Africa. These projects seek to improve infrastructure in areas traditionally marginalized in the global economy, or in areas that are unable to capture proportionate value from current flows of trade, economic development, and political power. Watchers are also noting the increasing geopolitical clout China has in these regions, illustrated by increasing military and political posturing, and an erosion of the importance of US and Western power in the areas listed above. These changes have mixed reviews; in Western circles, policy pundits decry increasing levels of debt stability across the region, noting higher levels of foreign indebtedness to China in countries like Djibouti, Pakistan, Maldives and so on. Western policy analysts also worry that China's investment in the region is nefarious, and hides sinister overtones to displace Western influence across the globe. On the other hand, beneficiaries of Chinese investment tell another tale. The Belt and Road initiative stokes infrastructure growth and development in regions that sorely need foreign aid and development funds in an era where US and Western countries are increasingly inwardly focused. Infrastructure projects like improving energy infrastructure, building new ports, railways and highways, and linking previously disassociated regions together, allow for expanded trade, opportunity, and growth in countries that are often ignored for being off the beaten trade path. Frankopan also examines the power vacuum being left as Western nations begin to recede in importance across the globe. China, Russia and others step in to pick up contracts, projects and trade agreements in areas the West backs away from. Valuable contracts in Iran, for example, have gone to China after US sanctions discouraged Western investments in the country. Turkish military hardware, once the sole domain of their NATO ally, the US, is now being supplied by Russia as the US continues to pressure Turkey and threaten sanctions against Turkish elite. The development of these regions - Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, has the potential to bring millions out of poverty. It also seeds the possibility of the development of a multi-polar world. Large Asian nations, like China, Russia and India, are beginning to carve their own spheres of influence in the regions listed, often at odds with US and Western policy priorities. China, in particular, is beginning to emerge as the main player in the region. Their investments touch almost every project in the region. They are developing overseas naval basis capable of hosting PLA-N ships. They are building ports, bridges, highways and energy infrastructure, which benefits local populations, while also boosting the potential for economic development and trade in Asia - their own backyard. The development of Africa is an important part of this, as China looks to export technical know-how and skilled labour in exchange for diplomatic goodwill, raw resources, and influence in the region. This book is fascinating - an excellent read on the shifting sands of geopolitics in modern times. Frankopan analyzes projects, policy papers, news and official sources to paint a picture of a grand plan to modernize much of the world. This book is refreshing as a read, as it does offers a nuanced and balanced view of these regions and their development. Frankopan notes the disruption a Western policy vacuum could have in Asia, and notes the dangers of a multi-polar world well. Frankopan also, however, criticizes the West for a lack of commitment, vision and intelligence in terms of competing against the Belt and Road initiative. Arguments aside however, the development of these regions has huge implications for so many factors - from world politics, to economic well being, the environment, world trade flows, and economics. A fascinating read, timely, and forward thinking. Absolutely recommended for China watchers, One Belt One Road policy wonks, or those interested in learning more about economic development and world politics.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Inderjit Sanghera

    Frankopan's precursor, 'The Silk Roads',  stands as one of the most important history books of the last decade. Frankopan is able to, with considerable candour and eloquence, upend traditional accounts of the relationship between East and West, one which is too often inaccurately skewed in the favour of the West and does not reflect how dominant Eastern thoughts and ideas have been to the rise of the West. 'The New Silk Roads' continues on from 'The Silk Roads' and focuses on the re-emergence of Frankopan's precursor, 'The Silk Roads',  stands as one of the most important history books of the last decade. Frankopan is able to, with considerable candour and eloquence, upend traditional accounts of the relationship between East and West, one which is too often inaccurately skewed in the favour of the West and does not reflect how dominant Eastern thoughts and ideas have been to the rise of the West. 'The New Silk Roads' continues on from 'The Silk Roads' and focuses on the re-emergence of the East, in particular China, but also India, Iran and the former Soviet states which sit on the silk road. However, whereas the poetic streak which ran through the original book has been replaced by a far dryer, more utilitarian style, once focused more on GDPs than culture, on infrastructure spend than art. Perhaps this is partially a reflection of the nature of the extraordinary growth in the East over the last few decades, however I feel the book would have benefited from an exploration on how the unshackling of the East from the chains of colonialism has led to it fulfilling its considerable potential or of the reemergence of alternative Eastern cultures against the backdrop of Western cultural hegemony. Nevertheless, 'The New Silk Roads' offers a prescient analysis of the potential decline of the West, whether it is via the isolationist policies of Trump or the return of authoritarian rulers within so many liberal countries. Frankopan also skilfully  explores the importance of soft power and how the increasingly erratic behaviour of the American government has led to a steep decline in its importance, as well as how the increasingly inward and insular policies of many Western countries do not reflect the ever-increasing importance of cooperation in a increasingly globalised world. 

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    A great follow up of his first book, the current book continued the narrative of the rise of the countries in the Silk Roads. Russia, China and Iran will continue to challenge American hegemony. 1. Silk Road countries are banding together, and also building infrastructure from China’s Belt & Road imitative. Japan is following suit. 2. China is making friends and investing everywhere. 3. The more Iran & Russia are sanctioned by the US, the more they lean towards China. 4. The more US is going to r A great follow up of his first book, the current book continued the narrative of the rise of the countries in the Silk Roads. Russia, China and Iran will continue to challenge American hegemony. 1. Silk Road countries are banding together, and also building infrastructure from China’s Belt & Road imitative. Japan is following suit. 2. China is making friends and investing everywhere. 3. The more Iran & Russia are sanctioned by the US, the more they lean towards China. 4. The more US is going to restrict China, the more China will wake up and develop its own alternative systems and platforms of technology. China developed its own Space technology because the West would not share; now China has gone to the Dark side of the moon. Huawei sanctions is ultimately going to do the same. 5. We are already living in the Asian century. China and the rest are opening up and creating alliances, when the West is getting protectionist and Nationalistic and xenophobic. This is the story of the the 21st century.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    There has been a plethora of books about China and it's economic and political rise in the early 21st century such as Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos and Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century by Orville Schell. However, too few of those books look at China in its regional context. That is a serious oversight considering China's Road and Belt Initiative that was announced a few years ago. In this valiant attempt to try t There has been a plethora of books about China and it's economic and political rise in the early 21st century such as Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos and Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century by Orville Schell. However, too few of those books look at China in its regional context. That is a serious oversight considering China's Road and Belt Initiative that was announced a few years ago. In this valiant attempt to try to look at the vast Eurasian land mass and try to divine the tea leaves, Peter Frankopan, author of the acclaimed history The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, does just that. Looking at the economic rise of China and the relative disarray in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Frankopan makes the argument that the balance of economic and political power is shifting back from the West to the East. This is not a new argument to anyone even remotely familiar with recent international affairs, but the key insight Mr. Frankopan brings to the table is looking at the region as a whole and how China's influence runs deep for both good and ill. Mr. Frankopan even briefly expands his scope in several places to China's growing influence in Africa and Latin America & Caribbean regions. Pointing to China's extension of trade and loans to these regions, especially in it's drive to knit together a new "Silk Road", China's rise is unmistakably the biggest geopolitical question for all nations today. Though China is the main topic of this book, it is not the only one. Mr. Frankopan gives special attention to Russia and, in particular, Iran, going so far as to name all three countries as the most important ones in the region. Examining the pitfalls and promises of each country, one is left with the conclusion that the major changes in world politics will be coming out of Eurasia and not the West in the next decades. That said, the fact that this book is rather slim, the topic is so vast and so messy, means that this book has a bit of a messy feel at times. The first chapter reads like an IR tourist's checklist of wonders that China and the region are pledging to our achieving. The first pages are not the most nuanced appraisal of the region, but Mr. Frankopan's analysis get's more nuanced as it goes along. Furthermore, while each of the chapters suggest some kind of overarching theme in each, it does not always turn out that way. Perhaps a narrative device, like a small story that branched off into the analyses Mr. Frankopan wished to convey, would've helped to focus the attention of this book. Still, Mr. Frankopan has done a tremendous job in trying to cover so much ground in so few pages, and he mostly succeeds. This updated edition feels especially relevant, though the COVID-19 outbreak may require some reappraisals once the crisis is over. To anyone interested in Eurasia in general, China in particular, and the West's response, I highly recommend this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    3.5* This is the follow-up to Silk Roads, which I had only read about 30% before I put it aside. (I find non-fictions easier to consume as audiobooks.) However, this could be read on its own. This book explores the rise of China and non-Western countries in today's world. Not really surprising as the Western countries are increasingly isolationist and for some, even overtly xenophobic. Think Trump and his wall and his anti-immigration policies - not to mention his numerous inflammatory tweets. T 3.5* This is the follow-up to Silk Roads, which I had only read about 30% before I put it aside. (I find non-fictions easier to consume as audiobooks.) However, this could be read on its own. This book explores the rise of China and non-Western countries in today's world. Not really surprising as the Western countries are increasingly isolationist and for some, even overtly xenophobic. Think Trump and his wall and his anti-immigration policies - not to mention his numerous inflammatory tweets. Think far-right parties becoming more popular in Europe. Think Brexit. Countries such as China, Russia, Turkey, even Iran, are coming to the forefront as power players in the global stage. China, especially, with its central government's One Belt, One Road policy, giving aid to Central Asian countries along the old Silk Road. But, it's not geographically limited. It also invests heavily in Africa, S. and SE Asia, and the Middle East. Because of these, there's a backlash born of fear and ignorance, from factions in the West. While this book was published pre-COVID, this made me think of the current rise of anti-Chinese, anti-Asian sentiments in North America and Europe. I'm not an economist or political scientist, but I learned a lot reading this book. For example, since it looks like the US does not want to play a lead role in the world (Trump talks about pulling out of NATO or recently, stopping funding for the WHO. ), there's naturally a vacuum that begs to be filled. Also, civilizations waxes and wanes, as history shows. The Arab golden age led to the European Renaissance. Now, the focus seems to shift back to Asia - including Russia and Middle East. Is it any wonder though, since Asia is the biggest continent with the biggest population?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Busy life is stealing my reading time this summer so this was a disjointed read. This edition is updated from the 2015 original and was published in 2019 before the pandemic so it is a snapshot of a world that doesn’t know it’s about to be changed suddenly by a virus. Frankopan’s stark message is that China is everywhere, moving swiftly into the global gaps left by an increasingly isolationist US. Its tentacles are especially prevalent in central Asia and across Africa funding enormous civil engi Busy life is stealing my reading time this summer so this was a disjointed read. This edition is updated from the 2015 original and was published in 2019 before the pandemic so it is a snapshot of a world that doesn’t know it’s about to be changed suddenly by a virus. Frankopan’s stark message is that China is everywhere, moving swiftly into the global gaps left by an increasingly isolationist US. Its tentacles are especially prevalent in central Asia and across Africa funding enormous civil engineering projects, many of questionable economic benefit, leaving the host countries with crippling debts to China. At the same time, the Chinese maintain a menacing presence in the South China Seas and on their Indian border as well as agitating Taiwan and, most recently, Hong Kong. And yet. Whatever China’s global agenda, they are the only superpower offering strong economic and diplomatic support to these struggling countries. Is this book just a paranoid rant from the West because what is it, exactly, that is at the heart of our anxiety about China? The Chinese are also investing heavily in the wealthy West and the West is taking their money. Moreover, thirsty for cheap products, we have decimated our own manufacturing industries as Chinese goods pour in. Check your labels. Pretty much everything is made in China. So if the West is uneasy about its increasing dependence on China, whose fault is this exactly? China is, of course, dependent on our custom. The pandemic will be an economic game-changer as the West, harder hit by Covid19 than China, goes into a massive recession. Whether this will make us more or less dependent on China is anyone’s guess.

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Smitti

    The entire book could easily be described as a summary of geopolitical events of the past years, with the distinct bias of a liberal intellectual. The author goes through the rise of China as economic superpower and the opportunities it offers. A fan of globalization despite the costs for the masses of the Western world, he cares little about the problems it causes. China might as well buy every relevant Western industry and he'd be ok with it, so long that it's in line with his ideological puri The entire book could easily be described as a summary of geopolitical events of the past years, with the distinct bias of a liberal intellectual. The author goes through the rise of China as economic superpower and the opportunities it offers. A fan of globalization despite the costs for the masses of the Western world, he cares little about the problems it causes. China might as well buy every relevant Western industry and he'd be ok with it, so long that it's in line with his ideological purity of an ever open world. Very little attention to the threat China poses in terms of human rights, censorship and repression, he's obsessed with big financial numbers that justify endless concessions. For those unconvinced about his economic arguments (he's a historian anyway), he then goes on a rant ''Orange Man Bad''. The mediocrity of the liberal intellectual is exposed once he starts whining about Russian meddling and yet chastises Trump's sanctions against Russia because they push the latter closer to China. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Unsatisfied, he exposes even his own ignorance about US immigration history, bringing in the controversy of detained children at the border as something unprecedented and inhumane. Forget the fact that immigrants from Europe to America were kept in quarantine in places like Ellis Island, in far, far less humane conditions. Forget the fact it had nothing to do with his whole argument anyway. In conclusion, an Ivy League/Oxbridge type that sees non-Western nations outplaying the US and the EU at their own game, the ''rule-based order'', while lamenting the end of it. A good read if you want to know why the West is falling behind: it's because of a leadership class like this writer.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cusack

    Entirely Western-centric. For a country about the East, there were countless references to Brexit, Trump tweets and US-EU relations. Reportage and literature about the East is extremely rare and so I was looking for a book that would help open my knowledge of this area up more. This book was not that. That said, when the author moved onto discussions about relations between silk road countries, it was very interesting. However. This was always framed from the perspective of how each event affecte Entirely Western-centric. For a country about the East, there were countless references to Brexit, Trump tweets and US-EU relations. Reportage and literature about the East is extremely rare and so I was looking for a book that would help open my knowledge of this area up more. This book was not that. That said, when the author moved onto discussions about relations between silk road countries, it was very interesting. However. This was always framed from the perspective of how each event affected the global world order - AKA Washington and the West. The author is right, the historical story of today is about the shift in power from West to East, and the growth of these economies. Where I disagree with him, is in his emphasis on how it will affect the west, as opposed to how it will affect the east.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex Givant

    Excellent book about state of current economy and how countries of Silk Road (China, -stans countries, such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc, Russia and other ones) impact world economy (been it pilot's salary, real estate prices in other countries, even donkey's price - which increased fourfold in last 10 years). One of the sample I liked is abolition of "one family, one child" China's rule in 2015 which leads to companies producing baby stuff (diapers, baby food, etc) to rise and condom companie Excellent book about state of current economy and how countries of Silk Road (China, -stans countries, such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc, Russia and other ones) impact world economy (been it pilot's salary, real estate prices in other countries, even donkey's price - which increased fourfold in last 10 years). One of the sample I liked is abolition of "one family, one child" China's rule in 2015 which leads to companies producing baby stuff (diapers, baby food, etc) to rise and condom companies to fail. Highly recommended for anybody who wants to understand what's going on and where to look for next impact to regional/world economy.

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