Gillian Wong and Josh Chin on journalism careers in China


China-watching power couple Gillian Wong and Josh Chin talk about working as ink-stained wretches in the Middle Kingdom.

Gillian Wong has been reporting from China since 2008 and is now the news director for Greater China at the Associated Press. High-profile stories Gillian has covered include the 2012 Tibetan self-immolations and the downfall of Bo Xilai 薄熙来.

Her husband, Josh Chin, works as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, where he has covered China since 2007. Prior to the Journal, Josh was a research fellow at the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, where he helped produce the China Boom Project.

Between the two of them, Gillian and Josh have covered a host of China-related topics, ranging from cybersecurity to Xinjiang. They talk to Kaiser and Jeremy about their paths to becoming journalists, their experience of the changing working conditions for journalists in China, and their efforts to create diverse and representative narratives — complicated, and sometimes aided, by the fact that they are both at least part ethnically Chinese.


Jeremy: Memphis, Tennessee, an American cultural destination and the musical hometown of B.B. King and Elvis Presley.

Kaiser: Matt Sheehan’s piece on California’s transformation into an epicenter for U.S.-China relations, “Welcome to Chinafornia: The Future of U.S.-China Relations.” As a second recommendation, The Polish Officer, by Alan Furst, which does an incredible job of re-creating an old-world style of language and immersing the reader in its respective time and space.

Gillian: The audiobook reading by Tom Perkins of John Pomfret’s The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom.

(Listen to John Pomfret discuss his book on Sinica.)

Josh: The Paulson Institute’s MacroPolo initiative, which uses the latest research to decode China’s economy, urbanization, and development. A lot of great data all in one accessible, punny place.

Also check out Gillian and Josh’s coauthored front-page piece, “China’s new tool for social control: A credit rating for everything.”