rui chenggang 04

CCTV Host Rui Chenggang Toppled Because He Was “Too Ambitious”

He simply didn't know his place as a humble CCTV reporter

rui chenggang

There hasn’t been much news on famous CCTV host Rui Chenggang since he was taken in for questioning last July, but it seems China’s media is now ready to speculate on his downfall.

Rui was a popular anchor on CCTV that became famous for leading a campaign against Starbucks inside the Forbidden City, among other things. His television shows on CCTV 2 were watched by some 300 million viewers nightly until he was detained by police in July last year. Rui has had the distinction of having interviewed some 300 high-level political leaders.

The media has been silent since his arrest, with the exception of spying allegations which surfaced in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily. That has changed, though, with the following op-ed written by Jing Suqi for the People’s Daily. In it, Jing talks about the moral character of Rui Chenggang and how he has deviated from the Chinese concept of accepting your lot in life.

Jing explains Rui’s downfall was caused by ambition and his over-anxious desire to see his dreams come true.

Here is the original text. Below is an edited version:

Rui Chenggang Followed the Evil Path from Being Too Ambitious and Anxious; Wanted to Ascend to the Big Leagues

The road that Rui Chenggang traveled is the same that many exemplary young talented people want to take. But Rui Chenggang borrowed a platform from CCTV, traveled fast, and had a wider influence. And after he got into trouble, there has naturally been a lot of discussion about what happened. This discussion is important.

However, life experience tells me that as young as he is, as fast as he has risen to become something marvelous, there must be some secret he has hidden from the public view. Naturally, there is an external factor, but there is more than that. Why has he unexpectedly gotten into trouble? I believe we can find the reasons from the man himself. He is too ambitious and too anxious.

(Although he has won many accolades and praise,) Rui Chenggang is just a reporter with CCTV.

He has mistakenly conflated the opportunities he received as being a result of his identity. He really thinks that his present or future can become, or even surpass, the heads of state and the billionaires he has interviewed. He wants to become the people he interviews, or, at the very least, become their friends. But this is not possible. 

As it turns out, Rui Chenggang’s maturity and experience, as well as things he’s said, can be epitomized by one word: anxious. He wants to urgently make his life more glamorous. He wants to be famous, successful, and become an official. Anxiousness embodies the hope of weak people who want to overturn their fortunes. However, when there’s too much anxiousness, one must pay the price.

Rui Chenggang became famous too early in life. You can see from the way he matured, achieved recognition, wrote a book, and expressed himself in his blog that he was anxious, and became trapped in a false reputation. Although the vast majority of young people do not get (the opportunities) Rui received, Rui nearly got them all, more than is suitable at his age.

For the potential “Rui Chenggang’s” of the world, how do you stay out of trouble? Perhaps it’s for the best we take a look at what Rui Chenggang’s third-year homeroom teacher from high school, Jiang Shouchuan, told him: “Chenggang, you have to understand, no matter how dazzling the opportunities shown to you by CCTV, you are just an employee there. During our time on Earth, every job is just a way to make a living.”

Solving the problem of being too ambitious can also help solve the problem of being too anxious. Therefore, during our time on Earth, we need to take it slow and wait until the time when we can properly bear the responsibility before taking it.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor