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Representative Rui

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芮代表 (ruì dài biǎo): Representative Rui

While Obama was in South Korea in November 2010 for the G-20 summit he attended a press conference. Ordinarily Mr. Obama only takes questions from American news organizations while abroad; however, on this occasion, he requested that his final question come from the South Korean press. After a pause in which no South Korean came forth to ask a question, a Chinese reporter, Rui Chenggang stepped forward and in English said, “I think I get to represent the entire Asia; we’re one family here in this part of the world.”

This comment by Rui whose nationalist leanings are well known (read about Rui’s attempt to drive Starbucks out of the Forbidden City) set the Chinese blogosphere abuzz. Many poked fun at his audacity, other saw in his comments a reflection of how the Chinese government presumes to represent the Chinese people without the prior grant of their consent. (See for example [bei-represent]. 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 here.

For more about Representative Rui in Chinese, see here.