James Chau is a broadcaster, writer, activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador. He has interviewed world figures including Winnie Mandela, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Robert Mugabe, Elton John, Muhammad Yunus, Arianna Huffington and Diane von Furstenberg. This rare insight into a range of global thought leaders has led to a book of unique conversations, which he is currently writing.
He is a former guest presenter on BBC World’s Horizons, the award-winning weekend show that explores emerging innovation in rapidly developing cities. And, after ten years as main anchor on China Central Television’s CCTV with an audience of 85 million, he is now a Special Contributor, focusing on major news events. He has 1.7 million followers on Weibo.
James has covered headline stories from the 9/11 attacks to the SARS outbreak and the Arab Spring protests. More recently, he is reporting on the spread of Ebola in West Africa and the Islamic State terrorist group. Following the disappearance of Flight MH370, he became the first journalist to secure exclusives with Malaysia’s Defence Minister and with the CEO of Malaysia Airlines. He also broke the story on the last words spoken by the pilots, revealing them to be “Goodnight, Malaysia 370″.
Four months later, when Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine with six AIDS researchers onboard, he travelled to Melbourne to pay tribute to the victims at the International AIDS Conference. In 2009, the United Nations appointed him UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador. In this activist role, he supports the rights of people living with HIV. He partners with Annie Lennox, the Crown Princess of Norway and Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, whose co-discovery of HIV in 1983 won her the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
James has been featured in the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Vanity Fair and GQ. He was born in London and at the age of 12 entered the Royal Academy of Music to study piano under Professor Graeme Humphrey. He graduated from Cambridge where the John C.B. Chau Prize in Engineering is named for his father. In 2014, he became a Trustee of the Menuhin Violin Competition. He is based in Beijing.