Newsweek Beijing Chief
About the Speaker
Award-winning foreign correspondent Melinda Liu has worked in Beijing as Newsweek’s Bureau Chief since November 1998. One of the most experienced foreign correspondents currently based in Beijing, Liu reported firsthand on China’s post-Mao modernization and the Tiananmen Square bloodshed; the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and later the fall of the Taliban; the 1991 liberation of Kuwait; and U.S. military interventions in Somalia and Haiti. In 2006, Liu won the Shorenstein journalism award in recognition of her reporting on Asia.
Liu had been based in Beijing on an earlier posting, opening the Beijing Bureau in early 1980 as Newsweek’s first China-based correspondent since 1949. She lived and worked in Beijing from early 1980 to late 1982.
From the mid-80’s to late 90’s, Liu was based in Hong Kong and Washington D.C., often travelling to report on global conflicts as a war correspondent. To cover the last days of Saddam Hussein, Liu arrived in Iraq in January 2003 and was one of few American journalists in Baghdad during the US “shock and awe” bombing of the Iraqi capital. Her report “Eyewitness Baghdad,” filed from the Palestine Hotel, featured in Newsweek’s special war issue which won a prestigious National Magazine Award that year.
Liu was Newsweek’s Asia Regional Editor based in Hong Kong from 1983-1992 and led Newsweek’s on-the-ground coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent bloodshed in June 1989. Months earlier, in September 1988, she was the only Western staff correspondent in Rangoon when Burmese soldiers launched a violent crackdown. While covering civil unrest leading to the 1986 fall of Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, Liu received a minor gunshot wound.
In addition to overseas assignments, Liu was Newsweek’s diplomatic correspondent based in Washington D.C. from 1992-1998, and also reported on law enforcement, global organized crime, and terrorism.
Prior to joining Newsweek’s staff in 1979, Liu was China Economic Correspondent for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review, and Taipei contributor to the Washington Post and CBS News. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Liu graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. From 2005-2007 she was President of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC).