Jacob Mardell is a freelance researcher and journalist who is currently travelling Eurasia exploring China’s c (BRI). He is writing a series of articles, “On the New Silk Road,” for the Berlin Policy Journal. He has also written dispatches for Foreign Policy and Politico. Since March, he has traveled overland from the UK to Beijing. Over the next five months he will be travelling in Southeast Asia, returning to Europe over sea, via Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Before embarking upon his journey at the beginning of 2019, he was a full-time researcher at the Mercator Institute of China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin. At MERICS Jacob worked on the Belt and Road Tracker, developing the database behind MERICS’ BRI analysis. He still works for MERICS in a freelance capacity, maintaining the database and working on Belt and Road related projects.
Jacob earned his BA at King’s College London before studying at Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics on a British Council scholarship. He has an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. In 2017, Jacob founded The China Road (www.thechinaroad.co.uk), a blog that covers China related affairs and tracks his BRI journey.