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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
Dec 26, 2002
A rising China lifts Asian economies
HONG KONG -- For many years now, a debate has raged over the political and economic implications of a rising China, both for the region and for the world. That China is rising is not a matter of debate.
COMMENTARY
Dec 8, 2002
Jiang put in a position to kill the party
HONG KONG -- Chinese President Jiang Zemin, far from stepping down as a result of giving up his post as the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, appears to have bolstered his position vis-a-vis his successor as party leader, Hu Jintao.
COMMENTARY
Nov 28, 2002
Jiang's 'thought' deified in his own time
HONG KONG -- The constitution of China's Communist Party, revised at the recent 16th Party Congress, elevates President Jiang Zemin to virtually the same level as that of party founder Mao Zedong and the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. Each is identified as "chief representative" of the Communists during different periods.
COMMENTARY
Nov 12, 2002
Chinese politics still a personality game
HONG KONG -- The 16th congress of the Chinese Communist Party, being held this week in Beijing, marks a pivotal period in Chinese history. For the first time since the Communists won the civil war in 1949, power is being transferred without bloodshed or a political upheaval.
COMMENTARY
Oct 31, 2002
China gets handle on weapons exports
HONG KONG -- The summit meeting at Crawford between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President George W. Bush should usher in a period of relative stability in Chinese-American relations. While unexpected developments -- such as the air collision last year off the Chinese coast -- cannot be ruled out, it is likely that they will be handled in such a way as to avert a new crisis.
COMMENTARY
Oct 19, 2002
More restrictions on Hong Kong rights?
HONG KONG -- For five years, people in Hong Kong have been worrying about restrictions on their rights and freedoms that could result from laws on treason, secession, sedition and subversion, mandated by the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution.
COMMENTARY
Oct 7, 2002
Political reform the only option for China
HONG KONG -- China's late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping deserves much credit for trying to modernize the country and remove it from its Maoist ideological straitjacket. He emphasized pragmatism, not ideology. He put China on the path to a market economy. And, perhaps most important, he tried to lift China from feudal practices, such as lifetime tenure in office and incessant power struggles within the leadership.
COMMENTARY
Sep 21, 2002
Past returns to haunt Taiwan's Kuomintang
HONG KONG -- The Kuomintang's chickens have come home to roost. The KMT, which was swept off the China mainland in 1949 by Communist forces, ruled Taiwan from then until two years ago, when it was defeated in the presidential elections by Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party.
COMMENTARY
Sep 7, 2002
Moral obligation to war victims remains
HONG KONG -- More than half a century after World War II ended, relations between China and Japan are still marred by wartime events.
COMMENTARY
Aug 29, 2002
Taiwan ditching 'nice guy' diplomacy
Taiwanese Vice President Annette Lu was greeted triumphantly upon her return to Taiwan, but her trip to Indonesia yielded mixed results at best. Taiwan may well have raised expectations in Indonesia that it may not be able to fulfill. Moreover, China will now put renewed pressure on Southeast Asian countries not to allow any visits by top Taiwan leaders.
COMMENTARY
Aug 23, 2002
Chen eyes Taiwan's 'own road'
HONG KONG -- In the days following Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's provocative declaration Aug. 3 that Taiwan and China are separate countries, there has been much speculation regarding his motives, with some analysts suggesting it was an unintentional slip of the tongue. Others said his words were spoken in the heat of an enthusiastic address to constituents who strongly support Taiwan independence.
COMMENTARY
Aug 10, 2002
Chen's contradictory roles won't work
HONG KONG -- When Chen Shui-bian ran for president of Taiwan more than two years ago, he distanced himself from his political party, the proindependence Democratic Progressive Party, promising he would be president of all the people of the island, regardless of political affiliation. But on July 21, President Chen was sworn in as party chairman.
COMMENTARY
Jul 24, 2002
Chinese media's coverage of U.S. proves balanced
HONG KONG -- A study of the Chinese media, commissioned by a bipartisan American congressional panel -- the U.S. China Security Review Commission -- has found that the controlled Chinese press, in its reporting on the United States, appears to be relatively balanced overall.
COMMENTARY
Jul 11, 2002
China holds Taiwan independence card
HONG KONG -- Beijing's unremitting struggle to keep Taiwan from straying onto the independence path continues unabated, with Lions Club International, or LCI, providing the latest battleground.
COMMENTARY
Jun 26, 2002
International consensus needed on asylum-seekers
HONG KONG -- The latest dispute between South Korea and China, in which more than 20 North Koreans sought asylum in Seoul's embassy, does no credit to either country. Fortunately, the meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and South Korean Foreign Minister Choi Sung Hong on June 19 appears to have paved the way to a resolution. But such incidents are sure to continue to arise. What is needed is an international consensus on how such asylum-seekers should be handled in the future.
COMMENTARY
Jun 15, 2002
Russia looks both East and West, for now
HONG KONG -- Last July, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, solemnly signed a landmark Treaty on Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation that was little short of a military alliance. Shortly before that, the two countries, together with Kazakstan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan established Central Asia's first security organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO.
COMMENTARY
Jun 1, 2002
Beijing must walk a fine line on asylum
HONG KONG -- China's decision to allow five North Koreans who sought asylum in the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang to go to Seoul via Manila reflects the delicate balancing act Beijing must perform in managing its relationship with North Korea, its longtime communist ally, and South Korea, its newfound friend and trading partner of the last decade.
COMMENTARY
May 16, 2002
Another crisis feeds distrust
HONG KONG -- It is the stuff of drama. Chinese policemen grabbed three North Koreans -- two women and a toddler -- who were trying to seek asylum in the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang in northeastern China last Wednesday, but not before the two men with them succeeded in reaching the diplomatic section. To the surprise of the North Koreans and Japanese diplomats, the Chinese policemen, without seeking permission, entered the consular premises and dragged away the two men.
COMMENTARY
May 1, 2002
Economic sense clashes with security concerns
HONG KONG -- Taiwan is coming to grips with a paradox: China is both its best friend and its worst enemy. In recent weeks, the island has been debating what its priority should be -- to enhance its economy by taking advantage of what China has to offer, or to safeguard its political security by restricting economic involvement with the mainland.
COMMENTARY
Apr 19, 2002
China puts growth before 'reunification'
HONG KONG -- The launching of the U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus on April 9, which already includes 85 members of the House of Representatives, is but the latest sign of Washington's moving inexorably closer to Taiwan, 30 years after the signing of the Shanghai communique. So far, China has shown remarkable restraint.

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