Reporting China, Past and Present: A 36-Year Perspective

event_image_frank_chingFrank Ching

China Studies Centre, University of Sydney

5.30pm – 7.00pm, 29 April 2015
Room N208, John Woolley Building, The University Of Sydney, Manning Road, Camperdown NSW 2050

Thirty-six years ago, when China and the United States normalized relations, it became possible for the first time since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 for American correspondents to live and work in the mainland. But even though Beijing had waited for decades for the arrival of American diplomats, it was utterly unprepared for the arrival of American journalists. Today, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has to cope with many more foreign correspondents from a host of countries. Today’s correspondents have much more freedom compared with their counterparts three and a half decades ago, but many of the same problems remain.

Mr Frank Ching is a distinguished journalist and writer who specialises in covering and commenting on political developments in China and Hong Kong. Before moving to Hong Kong to serve as a reporter and editor in The Asian Wall Street Journal in 1976, he worked for The New York Times in the United States for over 10 years. He was one of the first four American newspaper reporters to be based in China when The Wall Street Journal appointed him to open its China Bureau in 1979. During his time in Beijing, Mr Ching witnessed and reported on many of the most significant events in China’s modern history such as the trial of the Gang of Four, China’s strategic alignment with the United States against the Soviet Union and the implementation of the open door policy. He was a former senior editor at the Far Eastern Economic Review and currently serves as a Columnist for the South China Morning Post. His works have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, World Policy Journal, China Quarterly, Current History, the Washington Quarterly and a number of newspapers published in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

Mr Ching is the author of Ancestors: 900 Years in the Life of a Chinese Family, in which he used his own family’s history as a vehicle to present a history of China from the Sung dynasty down to the present. During the years 1994 to 2006 he hosted Newsline, a current affairs television program aired on Asia Television weekly.

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