China’s anchorman cut Obama short at G20 summit in Korea

November 16, 2010Megan2 Comments, , , , , , , ,

At a press conference of the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, a reporter/anchorman from China Central Television International snatched the microphone to throw President Obama a question, even though the president made clear he wanted to give this opportunity to the Korean press.

The footage has become viral on the internet. Rui Chenggang, a household name in China long before this episode, was once again brought into the spotlight. Chinese netizens are very divided on if Rui was in the right to say he represents Asia and be this proactive.

Selected comments from


Wang Xiaoshan:

I don’t care how he asks a question. It doesn’t concern me either if he is dedicated to his profession. Obama is not a son of mine. Which of them loses face has nothing to do with me. What makes me uncomfortable is, Rui “represented China, represented the world,” (Referring to the manner in which he asked Obama last year)and this time he represented Asia. All three have me involved and were unauthorized by me. I am so often represented by others.”


It puzzles me why all other Asian reporters chickened out and were willingly represented. Especially Korean reporters. Asked several times, none of them had the gut to take the chance.

The “Yes or no” that Rui threw to Korean reporters was really repulsive.


Mouthpiece. Too used to represent others…

林东 21:

In a country glutted with “representatives,” this reporter is so immersed in the culture that habit leads to instinct, and instinct leads to proclivity. Even after stepping out of China into an alien land, he doesn’t forget to five full play to his “representativeness!”


Little Rui on CCTV 2 can’t hide his narcissism.
CCTV 2 has high expectation for him.
The elite shouldn’t be too humble. But being narcissistic is debasing himself.


Obama wanted to let Korean journalists ask questions first. This is out of respect for the host country, a very normal thing. Just a few seconds passed before you popped out and prattle, despite the fact that Obama reminded you it’s Korean journalists’ time. You butt in, in such an insolent tone. No manner. A shame on our Chinese. Represent my ass! You are a clown. A clown with Chinese characteristics.


In a country without any election, being represented by others is commonplace. He could have said “If no Korean reporters have questions to ask, can we reporters from CCTV ask this question?” People wouldn’t mind if he asks a question. People simply hate his “representing” everyone.



Judging by what Rui Chenggang asked, it is not at all out of line if he wants to represent Asia, or even the rest of the world. It is the entire world that U.S. quantitative easing policy has had affected. It is very meaningful and legitimate to ask Obama this question. Introducing such a policy soon after declaring never going into war on currency, the U.S. owes the entire Asia and even the world an apology.

Ernest Yu:

I think Rui Chenggang fared better than the president. Maybe our countrymen are too sensitive to the word “represent.” Actually Rui’s standing up was an icebreaker, because no Korean reporter stood up. This kind of flinch is universal. Very few Asians are willing to speak up at the end of lectures or guest speech. By contrast, Obama looked very embarrassed and awkward (because of lack of response and Rui’s imposing manner), and not poised.

Besides, the rants about Rui’s behavior let us understand what is “expert in internal wars and layman in foreign wars.” Even if we gather all these angry people and give them one opportunity to ask Obama questions, not a single person would make a sound. But if one fellow Chinese jumped to the front, they will rant and rave about why they are represented and muffle the front-runner.

I think our countrymen still tend to neuter themselves. They spend every minute thinking about what can be done and what cannot, what is decent and whats make them loses face. They curb and fetter themselves, and others. So they lead suppressed and boring life, and let out steam on the internet. They never reflect on the fact that human beings can push the envelope and seize the opportunity. Staying confined in one’s little territory on one hand, and crying over lack of freedom on the other hand, this is the reality for most people.


I replayed the footage several times. The CCTV anchorman communicated with Obama using fluent foreign language in a mature and brilliant way. He was neither humble or arrogant. He was well-mannered. He remained cool and calm after his request was turned down several times, which showed his extraordinary courage. Obama, as the president of the United States, appeared nervous in public. I would think Rui has won credit for Chinese.

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