Frank Ching
Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based writer who has covered developments in China for several decades. He opened The Wall Street Journal’s Bureau in Beijing after the U.S. and China established diplomatic relations in 1979, becoming one of the first American reporters to be based in China since 1949.
For Frank Ching's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Mar 2, 2008
Will 'rebirth' of China level the field?
HONG KONG — At precisely eight minutes past 8 p.m. on Aug. 8 — the eighth day of the eighth month of the year 2008 — the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, this year's summer Olympics, will officially open in Beijing. It is widely seen as China's debut party after an eclipse of a couple of centuries.
Feb 22, 2008
'Asian Arc' doomed without Australia
HONG KONG — Kevin Rudd, the non-Chinese world's first Chinese-speaking prime minister, has dealt a lethal blow to a budding "Asian Arc of Democracy" that was actively pushed by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a notion that appeared designed to isolate Beijing.
Feb 14, 2008
Crises cast light on China's problems
HONG KONG — More snow, even blizzards, are expected this week, but for the most part, China has weathered the crisis brought on by weeks of unusually bad weather, including severe snow and ice storms that affected most of the country, paralyzing transport systems just when millions of people were trying to get home to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Millions spent New Year's Eve in darkness.
Feb 1, 2008
Nice words no match for border dispute
HONG KONG — Forty-five years ago, China and India — the world's two most populous countries — were at each other's throats, fighting a bloody war along their common border. Ten years ago, when India conducted underground nuclear tests, its defense minister said the country needed to develop nuclear weapons to deter a possible China threat.
Jan 25, 2008
Kuomintang won't flaunt election win
HONG KONG — The electoral defeat of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan was expected, but the magnitude of the loss took everyone by surprise, including the DPP itself and the opposition party, the Kuomintang.
Dec 28, 2007
World leader for president
HONG KONG — The 187 countries meeting to discuss climate change in Bali, Indonesia, this month narrowly averted a total breakdown by agreeing to set 2009 as the deadline for a new treaty to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. For that deadline to be met, China and the United States will both need to agree to something they have resisted so far: binding commitments on emission reductions.
Dec 15, 2007
Can Kim do the right thing?
HONG KONG — The six-party talks hosted by China on North Korea's nuclear-weapons program have reached a critical stage, and signs are that while the disabling of the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon is going well, the overall denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula may be in jeopardy.
Nov 29, 2007
Building better Japan-China relations
HONG KONG — The deterioration of China-Japan relations during the five years of Junichiro Koizumi's premiership has been reversed, but concrete progress needs to be made if the dramatic improvement in relations in the last 14 months is to be sustainable.
Nov 16, 2007
Taiwanese scion strains to catch the sun
HONG KONG — Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's greatest successes were scored in 2000 and again in 2004, when he won two presidential elections. His performance as president in the last seven years, however, has been mediocre.
Nov 1, 2007
CCP changes but elitism remains intact
HONG KONG — Oh, what a difference a few decades make! Back in the days of Chairman Mao Zedong and his little red book, China was proud to proclaim the Communist Party as the party of workers, peasants and soldiers.
Oct 18, 2007
Signs of progress on Pyongyang problem
HONG KONG — What a difference a year makes. Last October, North Korea shocked the world by conducting a nuclear test. This month it agreed to disable all its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and to provide a full declaration of its nuclear programs by Dec. 31.
Oct 4, 2007
Can Fukuda improve ties with China?
HONG KONG — China and Japan celebrated the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on Saturday with glittering diplomatic receptions and an exchange of congratulatory messages by leaders of the two countries.
Sep 21, 2007
China revisits a contradiction
HONG KONG — More than 25 years ago, China's paramount ruler Deng Xiaoping criticized excessive concentration of power within the Communist Party as the cause of grave problems, including the precipitation of the Cultural Revolution.
Sep 6, 2007
China's image sinking fast
HONG KONG — Public opinion surveys taken in the United States and other countries around the world show that China's image has been badly dented in the wake of widespread reports of unsafe food, toxic toothpaste, dangerous toys and poisonous drugs.
Aug 23, 2007
China tightens grip on Tibetan Buddhism
HONG KONG — China announced last month new regulations governing Tibetan Buddhism, including a stipulation that senior monks, known as "living Buddhas," cannot be reincarnated without government permission.
Aug 9, 2007
Product safety issue a blessing in disguise?
HONG KONG — China's preliminary agreement with the United States on measures to deal with food and drug safety worked out last week is an encouraging development that may well avert a confrontation that could poison the relationship, which is already beset by trade and other economic disputes.
Jul 27, 2007
North Korea will still want its reactors
HONG KONG — The failure of the six-party talks to agree on a schedule for North Korea to declare and disable all of its nuclear programs shows that there are major obstacles ahead, although the first phase — providing for the shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor — went relatively smoothly, despite a four-month delay over the return of $25 million in frozen funds to Pyongyang.
Jul 12, 2007
China's 'patriotic' church
HONG KONG — The Vatican, through a pastoral letter from Pope Benedict XVI to the 12 million Catholics in China, has called for reconciliation between the so-called patriotic church, which operates independently from the Holy See, and the underground church, which recognizes the supremacy of the pontiff. Much of the lengthy letter was devoted to the consecration of bishops, which is the biggest obstacle to diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican.
Jun 18, 2007
The first to save the planet
HONG KONG — Focusing on climate change, the most recent Group of Eight meeting, chaired by Germany and attended by five of the world's biggest developing countries, marked a significant step forward in a battle for nothing less than the survival of humanity on this planet.
Jun 1, 2007
Name game toughens Taiwanese parties
HONG KONG — The dispute over the renaming of a memorial hall in Taiwan would be hilarious if it were not for the very serious political tensions that are pitting the two main political parties against each other.


Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores