The China Road Project is a three-strong team.


We are all positioned at a point in our careers at which we have cultivated a useful level of skill and expertise in our fields, but are yet to assume the responsibilities that would make such a lengthy trip impossible. We therefore possess in abundance the one resource unavailable to journalists chasing a story, or to business people scoping out deals: time.

The Team




A freelance documentary filmmaker and photographer with qualifications in cinematography (BA, Bournemouth) and on location camera experience shooting BBC documentaries, Owen is responsible for capturing the visual aspects of our journey. Owen has already worked on one documentary about the Silk Road, but is keen to refocus his lens on the Belt and Road for a more lengthy and comprehensive appraisal of the initiative.




At the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin, Jacob works on the database behind MERICS’ widely used Belt and Road maps. In October 2017, he founded The China Road, which has published interviews with Belt and Road experts like former Portuguese Secretary of State for Europe, Bruno Maçães. Jacob has also worked for several years as a freelance writer, writing articles on international politics, as well as content for travel and lifestyle blogs. Jacob holds a BA in English Literature and Language from King’s College London and an MA in Chinese from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Jacob speaks Chinese and is learning Russian for the trip.


Freddie Fleischmann-Allen

Freddie is Development Coordinator at an NGO focused on socioeconomic development in the Middle East. Freddie has several years worth of experience in communications and digital marketing, having previously worked in publishing and as a freelance editor. With a specific interest in human security and social entrepreneurship’s development role, Freddie’s focus during the trip will be on the impact of connectivity on local communities. Freddie holds a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Leeds, an MSc in International Security from Birkbeck, University of London, and speaks Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.