A Chinese reporter’s eye roll during a news conference at China’s “Two Sessions” meetings was so epic, it ignited a social media maelstrom in less than 24 hours.
Business News journalist Liang Xiangyi was caught on camera rolling her eyes, apparently unimpressed by a 44-second “softball” question asked by a fellow reporter to an official regarding China’s “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure plan.
QUEEN. “One colleague told Liang Xiangyi that her eye-rolling moment was broadcast live, to which she replied ‘Because the woman next to me was being an idiot.'” https://t.co/x5CCBH38ke
— Megha Rajagopalan (@meghara) March 13, 2018
The impromptu news conference following a legislative meeting was staged on Tuesday at the “Ministers’ Corridor” in the Great Hall of People, where China’s biggest annual political gathering was held.
Reporter Zhang Huijun first introduced herself as the operating director of U.S.-based American Multimedia Television USA before fielding her long-winded question, which mostly summarized China’s achievements.
Liang initially tried to hide her disgust by taking a deep breath before touching her hair.
Unable to contain herself, Zhang turned around and scanned her with a piercing look from head to toe.
As she turned away, she then rolled her eyes in what could be the mother of all eye rolls ever captured on camera.
Local news broadcaster CCTV captured the epic moment in this clip:
Liang’s expressive displeasure of the question instantly went viral, inspiring memes, parodies, and a variety of GIFs on Chinese social media. In response, the government’s internet censors reportedly quickly moved to deter people from searching Liang’s name online in China.
Netizens, however, have expressed their support for Liang on her Weibo account, which quickly accumulated over 225,000 followers as of this writing.
— Justin (@bJustin) March 13, 2018
“Nicely done! You gave an eye-roll on our behalf!” a netizen was quoted as saying.
“I am clapping for your honesty! Such questions are annoying and do not have any meaning,” another commenter wrote.
Chinese journalists have previously been criticized by posing softball questions during that rare opportunity they get to face Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the annual meeting of the country’s legislature.
My prayer for this NPC: Please reporters stop the game of negotiating to ask tame questions, including at the premier’s news conference. There are profound issues before this congress, and a charade of accountability will do nobody any good and does us discredit.
— Chris Buckley 储百亮 (@ChuBailiang) March 1, 2018