Ben Blanchard
For Ben Blanchard's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
Jul 19, 2016
Trove of documents from purged Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang, smuggled to Hong Kong, to be published
A collection of documents from Zhao Ziyang, who was China's reformist Communist Party chief until he was toppled in 1989 for opposing the Tiananmen crackdown, has been smuggled out of the country and will be published in Hong Kong this month, according to a publishing house that is turning them into a book.
Japan Times
Jul 12, 2016
For China, Trump perhaps better the devil they don't know
In 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton provoked outrage in Beijing when she pushed the South China Sea to the top of the regional and U.S. security agendas.
Japan Times
Jul 7, 2016
Beijing warns U.S. on sovereignty ahead of South China Sea ruling
The United States should do nothing to harm China's sovereignty and security in the South China Sea, China's foreign minister told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, ahead of a key court ruling on China's claims in the disputed waterway.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Jun 26, 2016
China touts AIIB's greater understanding of developing world
The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be different from institutions like the World Bank because it has a greater understanding of the developing world's needs, officials said Sunday at its first annual meeting.
Japan Times
Mar 27, 2016
China tries to ease worries about overseas military bases
China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing's contribution to regional security and development.
Mar 21, 2016
Missing Chinese columnist who called for Xi to resign 'taken away' by police, lawyer says
Chinese police "took away" a well-known columnist last week before he tried to board a flight for Hong Kong and his whereabouts are still unknown, his lawyer said Monday.
Jan 18, 2016
South China Sea? For Beijing, Taiwan is the No. 1 security issue
For China, whose President Xi Jinping is already taking an increasingly muscular approach to claims in the East and South China seas, the question of Taiwan trumps any other of its territorial assertions in terms of sensitivity and importance.
Japan Times
Jan 12, 2016
Source says North Korea seeks China's aid on treaty with U.S., tests to continue without one
North Korea is seeking a peace treaty with the United States, China and South Korea to formally end the Korean War, and it will not stop its nuclear tests until one is achieved, a person who relayed the same message from North Korea to China has said.
Japan Times
Dec 20, 2015
Taiwan arms deal enough to give China bloody nose, but no more
A new U.S. arms package for Taiwan will help boost the self-ruled island's ability to inflict a bloody nose on China in the case of an attack, enough to make Beijing think twice before launching a military adventure.
Japan Times
Sep 27, 2015
Celebrated in China, Xi's U.S. profile dims in shadow of pope
On Friday morning, Chinese President Xi Jinping enjoyed the symbolic high point of his first state visit to the United States — a 21-gun salute as he stood with President Barack Obama outside the White House.
Japan Times
Aug 31, 2015
China party says no disrespect meant with Jiang sign removal
The removal of a stone plinth sign written by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin at the entrance of a key Communist Party training center is not a sign of disrespect, a senior official said on Monday, after rumors of destabilizing party infighting.
Aug 1, 2015
On Army Day, China warns of growing border security risks
China's military warned on Saturday on its founding anniversary of growing risks along its borders, including in the disputed waters of the South and East China Seas.
Jul 14, 2015
Poor intelligence, porous borders stymie Chinese control of Uighurs
Poor intelligence and porous borders with Southeast Asia are stymieing China's efforts to stop the flow of ethnic minority Uighur Muslims heading to Turkey, where China says many of them end up fighting for Islamists in Syria and Iraq.
Japan Times
Jun 29, 2015
China says changing position on South China Sea dispute would shame ancestors
Changing position on China's claims over the South China Sea would shame its ancestors, while not facing up to infringements of Chinese sovereignty there would shame its children, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.
Japan Times
Apr 1, 2015
Beijing risks a no-show at WWII events as Western leaders fear jingoism
China is trying hard to get world leaders to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing this year, including a military parade, but some diplomats said President Xi Jinping could be left standing on the stage with few top Western officials.
Oct 16, 2014
China likely set to expel disgraced security chief from party
China's disgraced former domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, looks set to be expelled from the ruling Communist Party at a key meeting next week, sources said, possibly paving the way for his formal prosecution.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Crime & Legal
Sep 13, 2014
Three get death sentence for China train station attack
A Chinese court sentenced three people to death and one to life in prison on Friday for an attack at a train station that triggered a sweeping crackdown on what Beijing calls militant violence.
Japan Times
Jul 30, 2014
China ex-leaders OK'd Zhou probe
Two former Chinese leaders gave their consent to investigate ex-domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, a sign the corruption probe wonu2019t open a rift in the Communist Party.
Japan Times
Feb 24, 2014
China, eyeing Japan, seeks WWII focus for Xi during Germany visit
China wants to make World War II a key part of a trip by President Xi Jinping to Germany next month, much to Berlin's discomfort, diplomatic sources said, as Beijing tries to use German atonement for its wartime past to embarrass Japan.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 17, 2014
Abe put Japan on back foot in global PR war with China
Japan is losing its global PR war with China because it can't muzzle its nationalist leaders, hide their revisionist agendas or stop them from visiting Yasukuni Shrine.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves