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Representative Rui

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芮代表 (ruì dài biǎo): Representative Rui

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 [[Bei X-ed | 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.