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Representative Rui

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芮代表 (Ruì Dàibiǎo): Representative Rui
Rui Chenggang addresses President Obama t the G20 Summit.

While U.S. President Barack Obama was in South Korea in November 2010 for the G20 summit, he attended a press conference. At this press conference he reserved his final question for the South Korean press. After a pause in which no South Korean came forth to ask a question, CCTV reporter Rui Chenggang (芮成钢) stepped forward and in English said, “I hate to disappoint you President Obama, 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.”

This comment by Rui set the Chinese blogosphere abuzz. Some saw a shadow in Rui's comments of China's increased assertiveness and leadership role in Southeast Asia. Others saw in his comments a reflection of how the Chinese government presumes to represent the Chinese people without the prior grant of their consent. One blogger quipped, if only his father were Li Gang, then he would be truly invincible.

See a video of the exchange between Obama and Rui.

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