Rui Chengang , winner of
Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic
Forum, welcomes a promising future under the challenge
of globalization Rui Chenggang in February became
one of the two youngest people ever to be awarded
the title of Global Leaders for Tomorrow (GLT) by
the World Economic Forum.
"After winning the award, I feel much pressed,"
said Rui, an anchor, director and occasional reporter
for the business news show on China Central TV (CCTV)
Channel 4 and 9 that targets international viewers.
"Though the title is named for leaders for tomorrow,
many of the prize winners are already the leaders
in many fields," said Rui, "Comparatively
speaking, I am still very junior."
Still, this honour will open new doors for Rui because
he will socialize with the other 500 winners at various
upcoming gatherings and workshops.
He is, indeed, in esteemed company. Winners include
the heads of AT&T, Yahoo.com and Amazon.com as
well as Chinese economists such as Fan Gang. Others
include renowned statesmen and global cultural stars
like American film star and director Jodi Foster.
"I can develop myself by talking and working
with them, and they will become excellent sources
for my programmes," Rui said," I am excited
at becoming a member in this group."
Rui, who was born in Shanghai, and raised in East
China's Anhui Province, graduated from Beijing Foreign
Affairs University. That free-thinking and open-minded
academic atmosphere helped Rui develop.
A talented debater and speaker, Rui was often elected
to be the representative of students to debate politicians
who visited the school.
The list of such luminaries he chatted with or debated
includes former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres,
former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros
Ghali, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and former
US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Ghali made the biggest impression on Rui, who credited
it with inspiring him to become a journalist. In that
talk, Ghali joked that if there were a sixth permanent
seat on the UN Security Council, it would belong to
CNN because its news judgment affects the views of
people all over the world. "In my understanding,
what he referred to is actually not only CNN, but
all the mass media, which can play such as an important
function in people's lives," Rui said.
That's why after graduation, he refused several offers
for graduate studies at European and American universities
to instead join CCTV Channel 4 as a business reporter.
He preferred to make his career here in China because
he has relatives in foreign countries who told him
of the difficulties of being different overseas. "From
them, I understand what helplessness one can feel
if they can not be accepted by the mainstream society
and culture," Rui said. "I don't like the
feeling of being a person living on the edge of the
culture." Looking back to his brief working career
of less than three years, Rui is ever more certain
he made the right choice. "It made me know China
more and also know myself more," he said. His
ascension has been swift from rookie who didn't know
how to do his make-up or pose to experienced reporter
interviewing a minister-level official, to an anchor
and director for two channels.
Rui explains that his keen understanding of the economic
issues and viewer psychology helped his rise. He doesn't
worry that he is overexposed by being on TV so much
because most viewers care more about the economic
trends that affect their lives, such as whether Sino-US
trade is going smoothly.
"This is one advantage of being an anchor for
international channels," Rui said. "There
isn't much gossip, for example in the media, about
my appearance or my flips of the tongue." This
February when he traveled to Switzerland for the prize,
he was recognized by two foreign viewers from another
country. This was very flattering, he said.
While in Switzerland, Rui saw first-hand the controversy
surrounding globalization that he regularly reports
on. The honours were guarded by police officers because
of mass protests against the globalization of the
world economy, a hot topic at the same meeting.
"It is not a matter of being right or wrong for
the world economy to be globalized," Rui said.
"It is a fact and we should accept it as natural."
He decided he must do more programmes on the subject
to teach the Chinese public what it means and how
to prepare for it. "There are not yet many protests
in China, since the country is not yet globalized,"
he said. "But the day is approaching when problems,
such as national identity, will face Chinese soon."
Rui didn't get where he is without hard work, and
he considers himself a thorough workaholic. He's especially
busy since CCTV launched Channel 9, which features
24-hours of English news programming.
He directs the English financial news ,
and BizChina broadcast from Monday to Friday on channel
9 he flies from Beijing to Shanghai as often as once
a month. "No one is doing real business programmes
if he doesn't go to Shanghai at least once a month,"
The schedule is so grueling that sometimes he spends
his weekends on his couch with a bag of snacks. Now,
with his prize in hand, he is conjuring up "many
new and exciting ideas" motivating him to "act,
act and act." Aside from his CCTV work, Rui began
a charity programme with a blind German girl Sabriye
Tenberken, to raise funds for blind children in Tibet
Autonomous Region. He is also starting a cultural
fund to support the development of classical music
( By Ta Ta, Shanghai Star. )