Oksana Boyko: I think you are one of the most eloquent English-speaking anchors. I'm not trying to be sycophantic here, but you truly have very good command of the language. You did not only read news off of autocue, but also, in live debate and analysis. And that's a huge effort. I mean as somebody who also speaks English, as a non-native language. I understand how much work goes into that.
Oksana Boyko: And yet, in interview after interview, I can see you, not being discounted, but sort of kept as somewhat not on par with all the people who speak English fluently just by the nature of being born in that country.
Oksana Boyko: Do you think our colleagues, our Western colleagues understand how much human effort goes into what we do? Not just state funds, but basic human effort into even being able to deliver what we are trying to deliver in that language, and also within that framework of the world. Because you are not only learning the language, you are also learning the culture, the world view, et cetera.
Liu Xin: I think one idiom would be good here. It's their house, so we have to follow their rules. And if you want to speak to an international audience, which is prevalent in English, which is English speaking primarily, you have to learn their language, you have to learn their culture.
Liu Xin: I was an English language major when I was in university, that was in the last century. I've been using English for all these years. I've had so much discussion. Sometime in my spare time, I talk to myself. I ask myself questions. There's so much thinking that's going on, so much discussion, so much reading, why? Not because I like it or I'm mad or something, because these are the questions that we want to answer.
Liu Xin: How can we talk to people in other parts of the world who don't speak Chinese? I have to reach out to them, and I cannot wait for everybody to be able to speak Chinese because then we will never understand each other. So, I want to reach out, I want to go over. But it's very very difficult.
Liu Xin: 25 years I've been working in this profession. I love it. I'm enjoying it and I'm ever more energized and empowered, but it's not been an easy path. That's why I'm angry. I'm angry when people say, oh, you come from the state media, you're doing propaganda.
Liu Xin: I say, excuse me, there are thousands of people, more than thousands, tens of thousands of people who are working extremely hard to bring information from one language, from our native language, which is Chinese, to you. And you say in one word 'propaganda', you discredit everything. That's why I'm extremely angry. Don't mess with me. That's what I say, because I won't take it.
Oksana Boyko: I remember that back in 2019, you had a bit of an argument with the Fox News host. You described her as being all emotion and little substance. And I think that was, frankly, a fair criticism. But I want to ask you, why do you think emotionality, rather than critical thinking, has become such a dominant feature of Western broadcasting? Because arguably it's easy for them not only to talk but think in English. But for some reason, there is a very, very determined push and pull towards emotionality.
Liu Xin: First, I have to say, with all due respect to Trish Reagan, my counterpart in that debate. When I wrote that opinion piece which triggered the debate, I didn't mean to say that she was all emotions and no substance.
Liu Xin: But you see, that's the problem. because I was thinking in Chinese and I wrote the piece. I was actually saying her research was not well done. But I really didn't accuse her of being all emotions and no brains, but I guess that made her feel offended.
Oksana Boyko: It's not about her, you know, her personality or even her style. My question is more about the general approach to work.
Liu Xin: Of course. When talking about emotionality, we mentioned it just now. I said, we are all emotional animals. That's why life is so beautiful. That's why life is so easily manipulated. That's why we're so credulous as well. That's why we as journalists who are people who can shape people's minds, have such a huge responsibility that we do not use emotion in an excessive, in a manipulative way.
Liu Xin: Sometimes there are true emotions which have to come out. It can be extremely powerful. I'm not shunning away from emotion, but when you are making emotion to push your political agenda, I think that is a very dangerous thing.
Liu Xin: So, both as a reader, both as a consumer of information and as a producer of information, I'm extremely aware when it comes to emotion. I'd rather keep my tears in my eyes when I see something because I don't want myself to be manipulated by my emotions.
Liu Xin: And according to Western philosophy, actually, what is freedom? Freedom is when you are able to restrain your animal instinct and make the right choices despite your emotions. That is when you achieve true freedom and I want to have that kind of freedom and I want to give my audience the choice to have that freedom as well.