Silk Road Q&A Open Thread: Wade Shepard, On The New Silk Road Author

It’s Friday, and time for our next Q&A open thread. I am fielding questions again this week, as our intended guest was not able to make it.

As we move forward, I will ideally publish a video interview with a Silk Road traveler, researcher, or investor on Monday and then on Friday invite him / her to be available for the community here to ask questions to directly.

Last week’s Q&A was pretty vibrant, to put it mildly, bringing in 69 comments and a lot of lively discussion. However, I’m going to have to ask everyone to work a little to keep things civil. China’s activities abroad, the Belt and Road, etc… is a big, always changing, and pretty contentious topic — everyone has an opinion and most of us at least a little wrong sometimes. The idea here is not to be right but to learn from what other people have to say, question our assumptions, and learn from each other.

Alright, let’s get to it.

Feel free to ask me — or anyone else in the community (feel free to talk with each other) — anything about the Silk Road:

—> I spent around four years traveling the various routes of the New Silk Road, ask me about the nuances of that and for travel tips.

—> I’ve written hundreds of article for big media (Forbes, The Guardian, etc) and a book about Silk Road development, politics, and culture. Feel free to ask me anything about the journalistic side of Belt and Road coverage.

—> My first book was about China’s “ghost cities” and the modernization of the country. Ask me about that and how it relates to the Silk Road.

—> Beyond the Silk Road, I’ve pretty much been traveling since ‘99, through nearly 100 countries. If you have any general travel questions, ask away.

—> I’ve worked along the Silk Road as a journalist, academic researcher, and videographer. If you have any how-to, tech, or strategic questions related to these profession, ask them below.

Let’s have fun with this. Be nice. Fire away.

Walk Slow,

Wade