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's image was plastered onto T-shirts and cellphone cases sold on Taobao, China's ever-reactive eBay equivalent.

- 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.

The Chinese media's willingness to accept the word of the country's leadership is notorious but the mask slipped when one reporter rolled her eyes at a colleague's toadying question. 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.

- She scoffs at Zhang, turns around and eyes her from head to toe.

This also led to censors trying to contain the hysteria as Liang's name became the second most blocked name on Weibo.

Apparently desperate to stop the incident upsetting their intensely choreographed spectacle, authorities warned Chinese journalists to close their eyes to the eye roll.

Chinese netizens across the country hailed Liang's honesty, with many saying the moment represented a collective national eye roll over the scripted news coverage of the rubber-stamp NPC.

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"The eye-roll inspired hashtags like "#Blue Female Two Sessions Reporter" and "#Eyerolling female reporter" that trended on the Weibo micro-blogging account where users asked each other, "Whom do you side with: "Red or Blue?"

In one video, three men did a deadpan recreation of the incident.

Reporters from media outlets based overseas but with ties back to China's state media apparatus are often called on at government events so that Beijing can appear to cede the floor to "foreign" journalists - who will nonetheless toe the party line.

On messaging app WeChat, people were separating the two reporters into two parties, according to the colours of their clothing.

The journalist asking the question Tuesday introduced herself as Zhang Huijun with a United States news outlet, American Multimedia Television - though she kept referring to China as "our country" in her remarks. Many said they supported the blue party, in reference to Liang.

"The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic that everyone is concerned about". This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up Policy, and our country is going to further extend its openness to foreign countries. What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what's the result of our supervision?

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