“Boredom and normalcy are my horror idea,” says the Swiss-born Martina Fuchs. The fact that this is not just a saying is proven by her life story. Fluent in Arabic, German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese, she first completed an internship at the Swiss embassy. Og, in Syria, by the way. She fond some fascination in being a diplomat. On closer examination, though, the diplomat’s job turned out to be “a bit boring” for her. Now read this: because she had more adventures in mind, she applied without further ado to the security service. She wanted to become a „James Bond 007“, she wanted to work as a spy. Regrettably, the decision makers did not consider her to be optimal for the job. They didn’t let her pass in the psychological test. For a spy, she was found to be too extroverted and communicative. Martina Fuchs has to laugh herself when she talks about it.
She eventually studied journalism in Cairo before starting her first job at Reuters in London. A stop in Dubai followed, which promptly coincided with the Arab Spring. Coincidence? Martina Fuchs says, “I believe, in life you have to listen to your inner voice. Somehow, it has always pulled me to the hot spots. I never thought about it much, like where the next crisis could be or where “stories to tell” could be found. As a journalist, I just followed my heart.” Later, she moved to Beijing, China. Martina Fuchs worked there as a business journalist for several years, in a country where media is controlled and corruption is the order of the day.
Martina Fuchs worked for CCTV, the national state broadcaster owned by the China Media Group, also known as the “Voice of China”. It holds the rank of ministry in China and is formally controlled by of the State Council and the Chinese Cabinet. It’s administration, ideology and content is controlled by the CCP’s central propaganda department. As diverse as the media offerings in China today may be, their control and censorship by the state and the Communist Party has not changed. The former anchorwoman can tell you a thing or two about it.
Martina Fuchs says that as a non-Chinese woman, “it took a great deal of patience and time to understand the Chinese culture better and, above all, build a network.” She says, “Contacts, ” Guanxi ” in Chinese, are extremely important and crucial in China, especially to those who have power and influence. “Not infrequently she was offered bribes, which of course she rigorously refused. Did she ever feel fear? No, fear is non of her business. On the contrary, she considers being afraid of the new to be a great hindrance. Most of all, she missed the fresh alpine air in China. The air pollution, called “Airpocalypse”, was one of the biggest drawbacks for her and a reason to return to Switzerland. Well, apart from her huge urge for new challenges and adventures. 007, remember?
Today, Martina Fuchs lives in Zurich and London and feels that the cities are in fact extremely liveable and international. Martina Fuchs speaks as Top Speaker on the topics Asia and China, Leadership and Leadership 4.0, Global Trends, Rhetoric and Communication as well as Emerging Countries.
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