Rob Gifford

Rob Gifford is the NPR foreign correspondent based in Shanghai.

For five years prior to his assignment in Shanghai in 2010, Gifford reported from NPR’s London Bureau. From 1999 to 2005, he was NPR’s Beijing correspondent.

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.

His first book, CHINA ROAD: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power was published in 2007 by Random House. CHINA ROAD tells of his 3,000 mile odyssey across China, following the country's equivalent of the US Route 66--called Route 312--all the way from Shanghai to the Kazakh border. The book is based upon a seven-part radio series that Gifford filed for Morning Edition.

Gifford holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Durham University, UK, and an MA in Regional Studies (East Asia) from Harvard University.



Mon May 16, 2011

Automakers Try To Convince Chinese To Drive Green

Green car technology is still in its infancy in China, and there's little uniformity in the way of infrastructure to support the vehicles, like this concept car with solar panels, made by Roewe, seen at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

The boom in car ownership in China has brought with it many problems familiar to Americans: bad traffic, of course, but also more pollution. So the Chinese government and the auto companies are trying to push a new generation of environmentally friendly car.

But it's not proving easy.

Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, has the somewhat unenviable task of persuading a Chinese public in the first flush of gasoline-powered capitalism to park the Hummer and roll out the Ford hybrid.

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Fri April 22, 2011

Chinese Truck Drivers Block Road Over Gas Prices

Originally published on Fri April 22, 2011 4:09 pm

Trucks left parked on a road near a Shanghai port Friday. Truck drivers protested for a third day over rising fuel costs and fees, disrupting the flow of goods.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Thousands of truck drivers in the Chinese city of Shanghai staged a third day of protest Friday over rising fuel prices they say are crippling their businesses. Truck drivers blockaded part of the city's port — China's busiest — disrupting the flow of goods.

The protests that began on Wednesday are the latest sign of rising public anger over surging inflation that the country's leaders have failed to tame. They come amid a government crackdown on intellectual and political dissent of any sort.

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Fri March 25, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Grief-Stricken Japanese Reluctant To Open Up

With the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear crisis in Japan, much has been made of Japanese resilience in the face of adversity.

But some are saying there's too much resilience, and that in times of unbelievable trauma like this, the Japanese people need to let go of their emotions a little more.

Taiji Murai is a tall, efficient local Japanese official. Like almost every other Japanese person encountered by foreign journalists in the wake of the recent tragedies, he is helpful, respectful and hardworking.

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Wed March 23, 2011
Japan In Crisis

On Japan's Coast, Fishing Families Weigh Rebuilding

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:02 am

Ship owner Yuta Suzuki and one of his grounded vessels that was thrown on shore during the tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture.
David Gilkey NPR

Japan's complex relationship with the sea was highlighted by the tragedy of the March 11 tsunami. Following the earthquake, the massive wave ripped through many coastal towns, devastating the boats and ports and fish processing plants that have been at the heart of those communities for generations.

Rebuilding the shattered fishing industry will not be easy.

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Mon March 21, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Company's Handling Of Nuclear Crisis Sparks Anger

Emergency workers rushed to restore electricity to Japan's stricken nuclear power plant Monday, raising hopes that pumps may once again send cooling water to the badly damaged reactors and spent fuel rods.

But the crisis is far from over. In fact, workers had to evacuate for the day when smoke started to rise from the power plant. And nuclear contamination continues to spread. Produce and milk from at least two provinces near the plant have been restricted by the government. The plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, faces growing criticism, even from within.

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