Last week, popular English-language CCTV host Yang Rui took to Weibo (China’s Twitter-like service) to rant on his official account.
His target? Foreigners, and in particular Al Jazeera’s former China correspondent Melissa Chan, who was expelled from China earlier this month:
The WSJ translated the post last week:
The Public Security Bureau wants to clean out the foreign trash: To arrest foreign thugs and protect innocent girls, they need to concentrate on the disaster zones in [student district] Wudaokou and [drinking district] Sanlitun. Cut off the foreign snake heads. People who can’t find jobs in the U.S. and Europe come to China to grab our money, engage in human trafficking and spread deceitful lies to encourage emigration. Foreign spies seek out Chinese girls to mask their espionage and pretend to be tourists while compiling maps and GPS data for Japan, Korea and the West. We kicked out that foreign bitch and closed Al-Jazeera’s Beijing bureau. We should shut up those who demonize China and send them packing.
Given fears about anti-foreigner sentiment in the country, the post was explosive. There’s now a petition being passed around Weibo asking for CCTV to fire Yang. China Geek’s blogger Charles Custer called for foreigners to boycott CCTV and rounded up some of the better responses (“Isn’t your daughter studying in the US?”).
Yang himself doesn’t seem too bothered. In another post he warned against racism and xenophobia, but still maintains that China does need to kick out the “foreign scum”.
This week he spoke to the Guardian’s Tania Branigan, and admitted the wording is rather strong. However he stood by his wording and said that any foreign guests who refused to come on his show now would acting out of “cowardice”.
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