Although a few western news correspondent are now based in Peking, the capital of The People's Republic of China, "China Watching" still remains an active profession in Hong Kong for one reason -- it provides analysis (or background) information for any developments to which Peking-based correspondents might not have access.
CU Radio, receiver PAN TO sign "Peking" on second receiver
GV EXTERIOR Reuter House with antennae
CU Hand on tuning knob PAN TOO man listening with earphones
MV Hsinhua teleprinter machine
GV Man with earphone watching Hsinhua on teleprinter
CU Radio antennae ZOOM OUT & PAN TO Hong Kong harbour
GV Chinese flag at Lowu border
GV Hong Kong -- Chinese border crossing at Lowu
GV Hong Kong street
MV Communist Chinese bookstore sign
GV & CU Chinese photos on display at window (3 shots)
GV INT Chinese bookstore
GV People reading Chinese publications
GV INT Far East Economic Review office with Leo Goodstadt reading Chinese publication (3 shots)
GV EXT U.S. Consulate building ZOOM INTO Consulate sign
GV U.S. Consulate building ZOOM INTO window
GV Operator monitors Canton television through telerecording machine
GV Television antennae
Initials BB/0018 JS/DW/BB/0045
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Background: Although a few western news correspondent are now based in Peking, the capital of The People's Republic of China, "China Watching" still remains an active profession in Hong Kong for one reason -- it provides analysis (or background) information for any developments to which Peking-based correspondents might not have access.
Most Peking-based newsmen are limited, and are asked by their editors to simply provide "straight" reports of events.
It is the "China-Watchers" in Hong Kong who provide the explanations.
"China-Watching" started in 1949, when The People's Republic of China closed its doors to the West.
And, with the 25th anniversary of the People's Republic on I October, this seemingly cloak-and-danger profession is stronger than ever.
Although completely legitimate, "China-Watching" is still very secretive, and highly sophisticated.
It is divided into four main categories:-
1. Academic institutions where students train in Chinese language, history, politics and so on. These are regarded as "soft" outfits.
2. Political organisations. There are mostly attached to Consulates. the largest being the U.S. Consulate at Garden Road, with 120 staff members monitoring China no a full-time basis
3. News organisations, which monitor all radio and television broadcasts, collect and evaluate all printed material and often interview recent visitors to China to gain further background information.
4. Amateurs who like to hypothesise about China.
Hong Kong is an ideal "China-Watching" station because of its proximity to China, its ease of access to recent China visitors, and the ready availability of printed matter.