Talented youth aims high

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, and 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," Rui said.
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 in Beijing.
( By Ta Ta, Shanghai Star. )