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:
Feb 28, 2012
Effects of China's Cultural Revolution revisited
More than 45 years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong launched the tumultuous Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which led to the destruction of millions of Chinese lives. It was a tragedy of unparalleled proportions, and yet the Communist Party continues to honor Mao and refuses to allow in-depth study of the Cultural Revolution.
Feb 24, 2012
China's next president does his turn on catwalk
As expected, the visit to the United States by China's leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, did not result in any policy breakthroughs. He is, after all, only the crown prince and has not yet been anointed No. 1.
Jan 25, 2012
China's limits as a role model
Forty years ago, the arch-conservative American President Richard M. Nixon shocked his country and the world by visiting communist China, a country that the United States did not recognize and whose soldiers had fought American soldiers in the Korean war.
Jan 16, 2012
Finer details of atmospheric science in Beijing
In July 2009, China's Foreign Ministry made a demand of the American embassy: Stop taking measurements of air pollution in Beijing available to ordinary Chinese since they conflicted with official data and could lead to "confusion" among the public and undesirable "social consequences."
Dec 14, 2011
China should heed Deng's warning
Last week, President Hu Jintao urged the Chinese Navy to accelerate its transformation and "make extended preparations for warfare." While perhaps unexceptional, the words caught the attention of the foreign media and that of China's neighbors, which generally do not have much of a navy to speak of. That is natural. The small fear the big and the weak fear the strong. That is the natural order of things, and the Chinese know it well.
Dec 6, 2011
Who will tell the 'have nots' to forgo a better life?
Quietly, without much notice, the world's population crept past the 7 billion mark on Oct. 31, according to the United Nations. The majority of people live on one continent, Asia, with two countries, China and India, accounting for almost 37 percent of the total.
Nov 22, 2011
Beijing girds for universal suffrage elections
In 1994, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, quoted a former colonial official as saying: "The Chinese style is not to rig elections, but they do like to know the result before they're held."
Oct 20, 2011
Chinese law reform may be a double-edged sword
Reform of the Chinese legal system is desperately needed but the draft of large-scale amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law shows that the current exercise in law reform is potentially a double-edged sword.
Oct 5, 2011
China's selective respect for treaties
Beijing continues to declare that its rise will be peaceful, but other countries are watching its actions to judge whether it will behave like a responsible power.
Sep 29, 2011
Beijing's awkward moment with Gadhafi group
The news that officials of Moammar Gadhafi's regime held secret talks in Beijing to buy weapons in July — five months after the Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Libya — is deeply embarrassing for China and casts doubt on its sincerity regarding honoring United Nations sanctions resolutions for which it voted.
Sep 8, 2011
How to drive away friends and lose influence
In the 19th century, Japan, unlike China, responded to Western pressure to open up to trade not by fighting back but by transforming itself so that, while still geographically in Asia, it became in effect a European country.
Aug 31, 2011
China's economy not a model for emulation
At a time when the United States and Europe are beset by economic crises, it is natural that the Western model of economic development, including a democratic political system, should be viewed with some skepticism while China's growth model is greatly enhanced.
Aug 23, 2011
Joint development in the South China Sea
Unlike last year, when sparks flew at the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington had an interest in the resolution of territorial disputes in the South China Sea, this year's 27-nation forum was relatively calm as China evidently sought to maintain good relations with the United States.
Aug 1, 2011
A less blinkered view of the Dalai Lama
As expected, China reacted strongly to the meeting between Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, saying this had "grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged Sino-U.S. relations."
Jul 22, 2011
China takes credit for human rights progress
Two years ago, China issued a human rights action plan for 2009 and 2010. Last week, it announced that all targets have been met.
Jul 18, 2011
False report hardly relieves Beijing's paranoia
For a change, the media itself is in the spotlight these days. The scandal over the illegal hacking of mobile phone messages by journalists in Britain has resulted in the closure of a venerable newspaper, the News of the World, and threatens to implicate not just reporters but politicians and the police.
May 27, 2011
Dalai Lama's words open door for Beijing
The election of Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard Law School scholar, as prime minister of Tibet's government-in-exile was followed immediately by China's rejection of any talks with him on the future of Tibet.
May 10, 2011
China anticipates 'explosion' over anything
"They feel they are sitting on a volcano," said a prominent Chinese academic when explaining the government's crackdown on its critics.
Apr 14, 2011
China's human rights record invites criticism
HONG KONG — The United States has released its latest reports on human rights practices of countries around the world, with Chinese officials being severely cited for cracking down on activists, limiting internet access and repressing minorities.
Apr 1, 2011
Japan-China relations warming up in crisis
HONG KONG — If there is a rainbow behind the dark clouds currently blanketing Japan — the country's gravest crisis since World War II — it could be this: Relations with China, which were at their worst in decades last year, are taking a turn for the better.


Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on