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Jaime ("Jimi") FlorCruz was born April 5, 1951 in the Philippines. In August 1971, FlorCruz, a vocal anti-Marcos activist during his college days, unexpectedly found himself stranded in the People's Republic of China. Then on a three-week tour of China, he was forced into exile when then-President Ferdinand Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus and rounded up hundreds of his opponents and detractors. Marcos declared martial in 1972; a year later, FlorCruz's Philippine passport expired. He was stranded in China for 12 years.
While in China, FlorCruz studied, worked and traveled extensively. He worked for nearly a year (1972) in a state farm in Hunan province, Mao Zedong's birthplace and also in a fishing corporation in Shandong Province (1972-73). In Beijing, he took two years of intensive Chinese language (Mandarin) study and translation training (1976) at the Beijing Languages Institute. He received his B.A. in Chinese history from Peking University (1982) in addition to a B.A. in advertising at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in 1971.
While writing his history dissertation on the December 9, 1935 student movement in China, FlorCruz was a stringer for Newsweek Magazine (1980-81). Twice weekly, he gave English lessons college professors at Peking University (1978) and to college students at Peking Normal college (1979-81). He also appeared several times on Chinese national television, teaching English songs in a weekly program called "Let's Sing".
FlorCruz joined TIME's Beijing bureau in 1982 and served as Beijing bureau chief from 1990-2000. In the summer of 1989, he co-wrote "Massacre at Beijing", a book about the crackdown against the protesters in Tiananmen. He was the dean of the foreign press corps in Beijing. He was a two-term president of the 200-member Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (1988-90; 1996-1999). He is the current Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
FlorCruz is fluent in English, Filipino and Chinese (Mandarin). He is married to Ana Segovia FlorCruz, also a Filipino national, and they currently reside in New Jersey with their son Johai and daughter Michelle.