Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana: Veteran Journalist And China Analyst
Chito Sta. Romana in Lhasa, capital of Tibel, in November 2006. At the background is the Potala Palace, the historic home of the Dalai Lama. Photo from Facebook.
Chito is a veteran journalist who lived and worked in China for more than three decades.
He is the former Beijing bureau chief for ABC News, the news division of the American Broadcasting Company. He has covered China as a producer and reporter for ABC News from 1989 until his retirement in 2010, reporting on major stories such as the Tiananmen protests & crackdown in 1989 and the crisis in US-China relations in 1999 and 2001. As a foreign journalist, he witnessed the economic rise of China and its transformation from a Third World country into a major global power.
His work as a broadcast journalist covering China has been recognized. He and his news team won an Emmy award in the News and Documentary category in 2000 and earned two other Emmy nominations in 2001 and 2006. His team’s coverage of the massive China earthquake in 2008 also won an award from the Overseas Press Club of America.
He is also the president of the Philippine Association of Chinese Studies (PACS), a network of the country’s leading China experts, and a professorial lecturer on Chinese politics at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines. As a China analyst, he has given briefings on Chinese foreign policy and issues on Philippine-China relations to various government, non-government & media organizations.
He first went to China in 1971 as the head of a Filipino youth delegation. Unable to go home due to the political situation in the Philippines, he stayed in China where he studied Mandarin at the Beijing Language Institute (now the Beijing University of Language and Culture) and later worked as a translation editor for a Chinese publishing house under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has edited the translation of two economic books and numerous articles by noted Chinese economists into English.
Born in Manila in January 1948, he finished his elementary, high school and college education at De La Salle University, where he graduated in 1970 with an AB degree in economics and a BS degree in Commerce. He also took some graduate courses in 1970-71 at the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics. He later attended graduate school in the US, earning an MA degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts in 1987.
During his college years, he was active in the student movement and participated in protests against the Marcos regime in 1970, which later became known as the First Quarter Storm.
He joined PRRM board upon his election as a trustee-at-large in 2012.