Man of the Week: Representative Rui

芮代表 (Ruì Dàibiǎo): Representative Rui

Rui at the 2010 G20, telling Obama, “I think I can represent Asia.”

Rui at the 2010 G20, telling Obama, “I think I can represent Asia.”

Nickname for Rui Chenggang, long-time host of the CCTV program Economic News.

At the 2010 G20 summit, hosted in South Korea, Obama invited the Korean press to ask him a final question at the end of a press conference. Instead, Rui Chenggang raised his hand. “I hate to disappoint you President Obama,” he began, “I’m actually Chinese, but I think I get to represent the entire Asia. We’re one family here in this part of the world.”

Rui set the Chinese blogosphere abuzz. Some saw in his comments China’s increasing regional assertiveness, while others heard another example of how the Chinese government presumes to represent the Chinese people without their consent.

01300000258678123504462906483The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.