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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:
COMMENTARY
Oct 4, 2005
China peels a layer off its secret onion
HONG KONG -- In the 1980s, when I was a Beijing-based correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, I had occasion to interview an official in Shanghai. How much of China's trade, I asked, pass through Shanghai? The official responded: "I don't think that figure has appeared in the newspapers."
COMMENTARY
Sep 17, 2005
Divisive embrace of Hong Kong democrats
HONG KONG -- After 16 years during which it ostracized members of the prodemocracy camp, Beijing is finally adjusting its policy toward Hong Kong.
COMMENTARY
Aug 22, 2005
Unhealthy fixation on 'miracle' growth
HONG KONG -- In the late 1970s, after China had emerged from the frenzy of the Cultural Revolution and it was again politically correct to talk about development, economists and officials focused on two principal economic indices: GVIO and GVAO, or gross value of industrial output and gross value of agricultural output.
COMMENTARY
Jul 21, 2005
Never-ending story of never-never land
HONG KONG -- The recent visits by three Taiwan opposition leaders to mainland China illustrates the new policy of Chinese President Hu Jintao, which is a marked departure from that of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin.
COMMENTARY
Jun 26, 2005
New deal between Beijing, Hong Kong
HONG KONG -- Almost two years ago, on July 1, 2003, well over half a million people marched through the streets of Hong Kong to protest against a national-security bill that they feared threatened their rights and freedoms. The massive demonstration shook the Hong Kong government to its foundations and was followed by the shelving of the bill and the resignation of two principal officials.
COMMENTARY
May 31, 2005
Bashing China won't cut the U.S. deficit
The end of the 30-year-old Multi-Fiber Arrangement's textile quota system on Jan. 1 has resulted in a surge of Chinese exports and increased American pressure on China to revalue its currency amid accusations that Beijing is responsible for America's trade deficit by "manipulating" its currency.
COMMENTARY
May 13, 2005
China cracks rights window
HONG KONG -- Last month, China issued a white paper that purported to show progress it had made on the human-rights front in 2004. It was immediately dismissed by human-rights organizations as little more than propaganda. While this may well be true, there are signs of significant progress on human rights.
COMMENTARY
Apr 29, 2005
Taiwan opposition tests winds in Beijing
HONG KONG -- Little more than a month after China's passage of its antisecession law, the cross-strait situation has undergone a remarkable change. While there has been some negative fallout, with Taiwan delaying talks on expanding chartered flights between the two sides and banning journalists from two mainland news organizations, the People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency, there have also been some remarkably positive developments.
COMMENTARY
Apr 13, 2005
China's cultural soul being sacrificed on altar of growth
HONG KONG -- As the Chinese economy continues to power ahead, everyone in the country is pleased with the visible improvement in standards of living, but very few people are counting the cost in terms of the loss of China's historical legacy, the growing sense of alienation and the loss of the cohesiveness that used to mark society, particularly rural society.
COMMENTARY
Mar 21, 2005
Antisecession law may have opposite effect
HONG KONG -- The impact of the adoption by China of the antisecession law, widely criticized in Taiwan and in the West even before it was unveiled last Monday, may well be the opposite of what the drafters of the controversial legislation intended.
COMMENTARY
Mar 7, 2005
Japan and U.S. up the ante on Taiwan
HONG KONG -- China's relations with Japan, already strained because of territorial disputes and differing perceptions of history -- in particular, because of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine, Japan's memorial to its war dead, including Class A war criminals -- were aggravated last month when Tokyo joined Washington for the first time in voicing concern over Taiwan.
COMMENTARY
Feb 20, 2005
Nightmare choice set to confront China
HONG KONG -- North Korea's surprise announcement last week that it possesses nuclear weapons and would indefinitely boycott the six-party talks immensely complicates the Korean nuclear problem and puts additional pressure on China as host of the multilateral talks to get them started again.
COMMENTARY
Feb 6, 2005
Taiwan Strait suddenly looks narrower
HONG KONG -- The political atmosphere in the Taiwan Strait has improved considerably in recent days following the inauguration of nonstop charter flights between the two sides during the Chinese New Year holidays.
COMMENTARY
Jan 25, 2005
Short shrift to a leader ousted by outlaws
HONG KONG -- The death of former Chinese Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang is a reminder of the tragedy that befell 15 years ago when the People's Liberation Army was called upon to shoot down unarmed demonstrators in Beijing, students as well as civilians. But it is also a reminder that China even today is far from being a normal country where rule of law holds sway.
COMMENTARY
Jan 15, 2005
Geopolitical jockeying leads to more aid
HONG KONG -- The outpouring of sympathy and support for survivors of the Dec. 26 tsunami continues around the world, providing striking testament to humanity's willingness to help each other in times of need.
COMMENTARY
Jan 5, 2005
Beijing counts on more high-speed growth in '05
HONG KONG -- Barely three years after joining the World Trade Organization, China has emerged as a major trading power, with total trade last year exceeding $1 trillion, an increase of more than 30 percent over 2003, making China the world's third-largest trading power. This is an astonishing performance for a country that a quarter of a century ago was an insignificant player.
COMMENTARY
Dec 25, 2004
Strained Japan-China ties bode ill for region's future
HONG KONG -- Beijing's relations with Tokyo, already strained by the intrusion of a Chinese nuclear submarine into Japanese territorial waters last month, have been worsened by Japan's release on Dec. 10 of a new National Defense Program Outline that for the first time names China as a potential threat.
COMMENTARY
Dec 3, 2004
China's foray south of the U.S. border
HONG KONG -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's two-week foray into Latin America in November shows the extent to which China's economic development over the last quarter century has strengthened its foreign policy outreach.
COMMENTARY
Nov 15, 2004
Risks could Americanize Chinese behavior
HONG KONG -- It's a dangerous world out there and, as China is finding out, it's getting more dangerous by the day. Beijing was shocked last month when terrorists believed to be linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization kidnapped two Chinese engineers working on a dam project in a tribal area of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan.
COMMENTARY
Nov 1, 2004
Can Taiwan, China stop baiting the other?
HONG KONG -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, during his two-day visit to Beijing, tried to persuade Chinese leaders that Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's offer of talks provided an opportunity for a cross-strait dialogue, but, as expected, Powell was rebuffed.

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