Conference ‘star’ arrested in China

By Doug Newhouse |

China Central Television’s star anchor Rui Chenggang and last year’s dynamic keynote speaker at Beijing’s TFWA China’s Century Conference has been arrested.


Chinese media reports are characteristically foggy in terms of what he has been charged with [if anything], but as he assists the authorities the speculation is that he is being linked with an investigation, which is outside of his everyday work within journalism.


[A total of nine individuals are said to have been arrested at the television station, although whether this is all linked to the same investigation involving Chenggang is not known].


As is well known, Chenggang is hugely popular and admired in China as a symbol of educated success, both through his regular and often bold interviews with world leaders on his regular television programme and his much-followed presence on Weibo – China’s version of Twitter.


He was undoubtedly the star of the conference at last year’s event and prior to his arrest last month, TFWA had hoped to invite him to speak again at TFWA’s March 10-12 event next year in Shanghai.



[The TFWA China’s Century Conference in 2013 was held in partnership with APTRA in March 2013 and held at the Beijing Hotel next to Tiananmen Square].




Chenggang [shown here at the TFWA/APTRA event] is one of several high profile individuals that have been arrested in China this year.


The government has detained no less than 25,000 individuals throughout the country in what some regard as a witch-hunt of convenience, while others argue forcefully that this is nothing less than a well-overdue exercise.



Rui Chenggang’s high profile on the international media stage may help to keep his profile more front of mind with the government than most while in detention however, as supporters and observers remain concerned that he is treated correctly while under arrest.


While regarded by millions as the welcome new face of journalism in China, Chenggang remains very pro China and he has built a reputation for waving the Chinese flag during multiple interviews with world leaders on his TV programme.


But some have long maintained that he has become too bold and arrogant and the authorities do not like it.


Ironically, Chenggang has been a hugely vocal supporter of the government’s drive to clean up corruption in China in the past.

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