Language contest paved career path for anchorwoman

Updated: 2016-03-21 14:33

By Sun Xiaochen(China Daily USA)

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Never in her wildest dreams did Liu Xin imagine that taking part in an English speaking contest 20 years ago would have carried her so far in life.

"It's been so long but the memories remain solid in my mind. The competition made such a big difference in my life," said the China Central Television senior correspondent, who is now based in Europe.

As a student majoring in English literature at Nanjing University, Liu participated in and won the inaugural "21st Century Cup" National English Speaking Competition in 1996.

Like most of her peers back then, she had limited access to the outside world but was keen to expand her horizons by studying a universal language.

Winning the contest offered Liu an opportunity to demonstrate her talent and passion for English on a higher stage, as she was offered a place at the prestigious International Public Speaking Competition in London in May 1996.

Liu, the first Chinese to participate, went on to win the competition, beating 37 competitors - most of whom were native English speakers - and opening a door for her future journalism career.

Language contest paved career path for anchorwoman

Liu joined CCTV after her graduation in 1997, and went on to become the longest-serving anchorwoman of its English language channel, which was established in 2001.

She worked hard to fine tune her language skills and professionalism as a news presenter and in October 2010, became CCTV's Geneva bureau chief - embracing a different role, which requires more energy and knowledge of how news operates in the real world outside the studio.

"English is a tool that can help you realize your career goals and stay connected with the world no matter what you do as a job," she said.

Although she is now a well-known voice representing China to the world, Liu said she still remembers clearly how nervous she was before stepping onto that stage for the final of the "21st Century Cup" competition two decades ago.

"I stood in front of a mirror in the dressing room and told myself to 'let it go and be yourself'," she said, adding that her advice to other competitors would be to believe in themselves.

(China Daily USA 03/21/2016 page6)