LONDON — It’s not all about how well you can read and write.
It’s about how much you care about your country.
It is, after all, a country that once boasted one of the largest human rights movements in the world, the one that saw the end of slavery, a democracy, a peace treaty with the United Nations, and a world free from nuclear weapons.
Now it is home to one of China’s most infamous dictators, a leader who has threatened to wipe out the entire island of Taiwan, and who has called for a “complete shutdown” of diplomatic relations with the West.
What does a government college degree in China have to do with life here?
That’s what this week’s CNNMoney video series will answer.
As a young student, I spent time in Beijing studying the Chinese government’s online courses, where I learned about the country’s complicated and often-difficult relationship with technology.
But, in my late 20s, I decided to take a different route, to pursue my dreams as a journalist in South Asia.
So I studied in India and Malaysia and spent time living in India’s capital city of Delhi, which at one point was a city of more than 100 million people.
Then, I landed a job at a local newspaper in India as an intern.
By then, I was working for several newspapers in India, including The Times of India and the Hindu, where my first story ran.
And now I am a correspondent at CNN, the news network covering India.
I have never met a Chinese person I didn’t like, and I think my work in India has given me the opportunity to meet and work with Chinese people who are part of the fabric of South Asia and, as a result, are often overlooked in mainstream news coverage of China.
While studying in China, I noticed a certain level of distrust in Indian-Chinese relations, and one of my first assignments was to interview Chinese students who spoke English.
In India, I also met students from across the political spectrum, from the Left to the Right, and many of them seemed to be frustrated with the current political climate.
After spending a few months interviewing these students, I became convinced that, in order to build bridges in this region, India would need to start addressing the issues of caste, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression that have long been pervasive in China.
So I began my work at CNN in a new way.
The journey I have taken to get to this point was inspired by a friend who works at a newspaper in New Delhi and who recently gave me a piece of advice: “When I went to India, the first thing I did was ask myself: If India had a government-level government, how would I feel?
That was the moment that I became a journalist.”