Reporter's eye roll causes trouble with Chinese censors

Reporter on left rolls her eyes

Reporter on left rolls her eyes

The incident unfolded on live television during a media session on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC), where high-level officials field often pre-approved questions, mostly from domestic media.

Financial journalist Liang Xiangyi found herself at the centre of the social media storm after she was caught on camera looking less than impressed at the long-winded inquiry by fellow reporter Zhang Huijun during a press conference at the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.

A reporter in China was caught on camera rolling her eyes in disgust at another reporter who was asking questions at the country's biggest political event of the year.

- Liang takes a deep breath and touches her hair, while trying to hide her disgust.

According to unverified reports, Liang had been reprimanded by her network and stripped off her press pass.

Liang's Weibo account can not be found and it is not clear if she has lost her job over her newfound internet fame.

As the question about China's Belt and Road infrastructure project dragged on for 45 seconds, Liang grimaced, glanced sideways to give the woman dressed in red a disbelieving once-over, and concluded with a majestic, head-turning eye-roll.

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It was the eye-roll that launched a thousand gifs.

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. Some social media commentators praised the apparent spontaneity of Liang's show of frustration.

Her Weibo page has been taken down and search results for her name have also been censored.

During the press briefing, Zhang asked the chairman of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission a pre-screened question about China's state-owned assets overseas and what can be done to protect them. As the director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, what new moves will you make in 2018?

"What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what are the results?"

However, all this came at a price as Xiangyi's media accreditation has been revoked, according to the South China Morning Post, and her personal Weibo page was also taken down. Liang asks, before signing off with a confident and concise: "Thank you!"

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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