Yang Rui (杨锐), the world’s most widely watched Chinglish talkshow host and anchor of CCTV News’
Monologue Dialogue, has, in his latest statement to Josh Chin of the Wall Street Journal, attempted to walk back some of his more incendiary remarks made against foreigners in China.
For those of you that haven’t heard yet (where have you been?), Yang called on the Public Security Bureau in a post on Sina Weibo last week to “clean out the foreign trash” and to “arrest foreign thugs” because foreigners were coming to China to “grab our money, engage in human trafficking and spread deceitful lies to encourage emigration”.
In his latest remarks to the WSJ, Yang said that while most Westerners are seen by the Chinese as “friendly”, “well-educated and polite,” “some are not,” citing the example of the British man who attempted to rape a Chinese woman on the streets, and Oleg Vedernikov, the Russian cellist whose a-hole moment on a high-speed train was caught on a video by a passenger and put up on the Internet.
It was expats like these that Yang was referring to as “foreign trash” he said, not the “silent majority in the expat communities who obey and respect our culture and society.”
“Singling out these Foreign Trash serves to protect the good reputation of decent Westerners,” he added. “My posting of May 16 is a wake-up call. Western and Chinese, no one should be above the law.”
Yang also said the “mischaracterization” of his reference to Al-Jazeera correspondent Melissa Chan as a “pofu” (泼妇) constituted a “more serious part of the accusations against me.” An overwhelming majority of English news websites had translated the term as “bitch”, but Yang Rui points to his Jinshan Ciba (in our minds the worst possible Chinese-English dictionary out there for serious language learners) and said the term means “shrew.”
Translated: Yang says his mischaracterisation of Melissa Chan as a “bitch” has been mischaracterised. Rich. Let me go chew on that for a moment.
Without skipping a beat, Yang closed his statement saying, “I hope this will put this issue to rest for those who are willing to listen.”
Oh no, we won’t. We’re filing Yang Rui under our Hall of Douchebags with immediate effect, where he will be remembered for posterity by the expatriate community in China.
UPDATE: In an interview with Tania Branigan of The Guardian, Yang Rui also said:
“The wording, I acknowledge, is very strong and incompatible with my image as host of a professional talk show and I can say for sure I am sorry for hurting those who respect my profession.
“I don’t mean I am beating a retreat from the principles that may be implied in the initial posting. The crackdown on illegal foreigners is a must. Ninety-five to 98% are honest people, well educated and abide by our laws … I am only talking about the bad guys.” [Read full post here]