Capitalism Finds Voice in China TV (Updated with Video)

The International Herald Tribune profiles CCTV anchor Rui Chenggang, who made waves a couple of years ago when he protested Starbucks operating in the Forbidden City. From the IHT profile:

His nightly financial news program attracts 13 million viewers on China Central Television, the nation’s biggest state-run network, where Mr. Rui puts tough questions to Wall Street chiefs and Chinese economists while also delivering a dose of optimism about China’s outlook.

He also writes a popular blog ( infused with patriotic rhetoric. And he recently published a book, “Life Begins at 30,” in which he reflects on China’s economic miracle and what he sees as the difficult path ahead.

In a foreword to the book, the president of Yale, Richard C. Levin, calls Mr. Rui “an energetic young standard bearer of the New China.” Some critics are less generous, calling him a tireless self-promoter and a propaganda tool of the Communist Party.

But Mr. Rui (pronounced Ray), who drives a Jaguar to work and wears Zegna suits, says his goals reach beyond media stardom. He wants to use his celebrity to build bridges with the West and help change world opinion about China, which he says suffers because of biased foreign media coverage and the country’s poor training in communication.

Watch Rui interviewed on The Daily Show last year (with thanks to commenter MAC for the tip):

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