Juan Pablo Cardenal

China’s Silent Army – 2 years, 500 interviews, 25 countries, 400 footnotes…

Juan Pablo Cardenal is a Spanish journalist that has been Asia-based since 2003, first as the Shanghai correspondent for Spain’s daily ‘El Mundo’ and later in Singapore and Beijing for Spain’s economic daily ‘El Economista’. He is currently based in Hong Kong.

During these years he has mainly covered China’s economic and social developments and has travelled extensively in the region. Since 2009 he has travelled to 40 countries in both the West and the developing world to look into how is China becoming a global power and the impact of it at local level. The result of such a field research materialized in the book ‘China’s Silent Army’, and in a current book (on China’s approach to the West) that is now in progress.

With his co-writer Heriberto Araújo, he has published related articles in Spain’s leading newspaper ‘El País’, including a blog: http://blogs.elpais.com/conquista-china/.  They’ve jointly published feature stories and opinion articles in the ‘South China Morning Post’ of Hong Kong; ‘The Times’ of London; ‘Aftenposten’ of Norway; ‘Foreign Policy’ of DC; ‘Shukan Bunshun’ of Japan; ‘The Telegraph’ of the UK; and ‘Radio France International’, among others. The ‘New York Times’ is publishing one of their op-eds in early May 2013.


China's Silent ArmyChina’s Silent Army

China ‘going global’ is a new phenomenon changing the world.  It’s happening at a time in which the rest of the world is still suffering from the effects of the economic crisis. This historic and remarkable approach to the world’s natural resources, markets, technologies and business opportunities is occurring thanks to the strengths of China’s state capitalism and at an unprecedented scale. Therefore, will China’s irruption into the international stage bring tensions globally? What do we know about how is China putting in place this internationalization strategy? What’s happening on the ground? What are the upsides and downsides? What to expect in the years to come?

After a decade of experience as a reporter in China and almost 4 years looking into the topic of China’s internationalization in a field research in over 40 countries, Juan Pablo is in a very unique position to give insight about one of the most important events of the 21st century.

In his speech he’d be able to address the following issues/topics:

  • Why is China’s global approach is important.
  • China’s model in its internationalization strategy – economically, financially, politically, diplomatically.
  • How does China’s state capitalism make a difference – including side effects.
  • What is China’s impact on the ground for local populations – who’s taking the profit.
  • Why is China perceived as unavoidable by governments around the world – both in the West and the developing world.
  • The West’s dilemma – how to deal with the Asian giant.
  • Is China a risk or an opportunity for the world?

Testimonials for the book ‘China’s Silent Army’:

‘A powerful, brilliant, pioneering investigation … cuts to the political core’, Sunday Times

‘Extraordinary … This is on-the-ground journalism that brings the reader face to face with the human consequences of China’s “silent world conquest”’, Rachel Halliburton, Independent

‘They write powerfully about the environmental and social damage wrought by unscrupulous, often state-backed Chinese companies in the places where they invest and operate … truly impressive. It is the sympathetic accounts of ordinary emigrants’ experiences that provide the backdrop for the real insights of the book’, Jamil Anderlini, Financial Times

‘Engaging and sympathetic … Fascinating and vivid reportage’, Jasper Becker, Spectator

‘If you want to understand how China is changing the planet, read this book’, Louise Rosario, South China Morning Post

‘The two reporters set out to show, in a highly readable fashion, the growing Chinese impact on every corner of the globe’, The Economist

‘A fascinating book about a topic of great importance… This is a breathless book’, Jeffrey Wasserstrom, WSJ

Willy Lam 林和立

China Politics & Foreign Policy Expert

Ian Johnson

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, China Expert