FRANK CHING

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ADVOCATES of Hong Kong independence are intolerable, Zhang Xiaoming said last week on his first day as director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office in Beijing. “What is Hong Kong independence?” he asked rhetorically while meeting the press. Answering his own question, he said: “It contravenes…

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HIGH drama was the order of the day at the United Nations General Assembly this past week when first Donald Trump promised to “totally destroy” North Korea if the US has to defend itself or its allies. Four days later, the North Korean foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, accused Trump of…

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LAST week, China’s official People’s Daily published an essay by Foreign Minister Wang Yi praising China’s achievements in human rights ever since Xi Jinping assumed power in 2012. “Only the person wearing the shoes can tell if the shoes are comfortable,” said Wang. “Only the Chinese people have the most…

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MORE than 20 years ago, in the run-up to Hong Kong’s handover to China, rumors were rife that the city was finished. Fortune magazine published the infamous “The Death of Hong Kong” article. Books appeared with such titles as The Fall of Hong Kong, The End of Hong Kong, and…

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IN Japan as in China, there is a tradition of officials being chosen from members of politically prominent families for senior positions and, often, those politicians exhibit similar political leanings as their forebears. At the very top, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is the scion of a political family. His…

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A YEAR after China lost an arbitration case brought against it by the Philippines over disputed territories in the South China Sea, Beijing has emerged the victor in real terms as it flouted the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling favoring Manila’s arguments based on the United Nations Convention on the…

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IN the month since the death of Liu Xiaobo, China’s Nobel peace laureate, world attention has shifted to focus on the fate of his widow, Liu Xia, who had been kept under illegal house arrest ever since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2010 while serving…

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FROM the land that brought you poisonous toothpaste, toxic pet food and milk powder that sickens and kills children comes now a new perilous product: fabricated papers in medical journals with fake peer reviews written by fabricated cancer specialists. Last April, the publishing company Springer Nature announced that it was…

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THE disputed Sino-Indian border, long a source of intermittent clashes, is once again the focus of a confrontation that sees Chinese and Indian troops facing off, this time in an area claimed by Bhutan. Interestingly, China’s territorial claim to the contested area rests on an 1890 treaty, the Convention between…

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