Reporter's dramatic eyeroll at fellow journalist goes viral, gets censored in China

Reporter's dramatic eyeroll at fellow journalist goes viral, gets censored in China

Liang Xiangyi of Yicai Media, a financial news service, hit headlines Tuesday, March 13, when she was seen rolling her eyes during a press conference at the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress.

As the detailed question from Zhang Huijun (in the red suit) drags on, Liang Xiangyi (in the blue suit) rolls her eyes multiple times.

"I am Zhang Huijun, executive director of American Multimedia Television USA", the journalist began before launching into a 40-second monologue as tiresome as it was directionless. Previously, the most trending topics for the political event included fantastic Chinese translators, amazingly fluent Chinese-speaking foreign reporters, and advanced technology such as virtual reality and 3D cameras used by reporters to cover the event.

Liang's name became the most-censored term on Weibo, the microblogging platform.

Captured by China's national news broadcaster, CCTV, the moment spread quickly across Chinese social media.

"An eye-rolling representing all people who don't dare to do so", one social media user wrote.

Liang's image was plastered onto T-shirts and cellphone cases sold on Taobao, China's ever-reactive eBay equivalent. "You have made the country lose face, and should be taken outside and shot", said one commenter, to whom someone replied: "It wasn't the reporter that lost face".

- Zhang was posing a long and convoluted question to a government official during a staged doorstop at the Great Hall of People, where the National People's Congress was being held. Liang Xiangyi was spotted giving a dramatic and exasperated eye-roll to a fellow journalist identified as Zhang Huijun from American Multimedia Television (AMTV) when she asked a question along with praise for the government.

On messaging app WeChat, people were separating the two reporters into two parties, according to the colours of their clothing. Neither Zhang's employer nor Liang's responded to a request for comment on the incident on Tuesday.

"2018 is the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up", Zhang rambled at one point before declaring: "China will open wider to the outside world". With General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi proposing the One Belt One Road Initiative, state-owned enterprises have increased investment to countries along the route of One Belt One Road, so how can the overseas assets of state-owned enterprises be effectively supervised to prevent loss of assets? "Please summarize for us, thank you".

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