BEIJING: A Chinese reporter's disbelieving reaction to a fellow journalist's lengthy question at the 13th National People's Congress was caught on national television on Tuesday (Mar 13), quickly becoming a widely discussed topic online.
State broadcaster CCTV captured the moment on camera, in a clip that was uploaded to Youtube.
The reporter was identified in reports as Liang Xiangyi from financial news site Yicai.
In the clip, Liang is seen rolling her eyes and looking disdainful as a fellow reporter, Zhang Huijun from American Multimedia Television USA, asks her question:
“The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic that everyone is concerned about. As the director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, what new moves will you make in 2018?
“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.
"With 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 the loss of national assets?
"What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what are the results? Will you please explain this to all of us? Thank you."
As Zhang speaks, Liang glances at her with a neutral expression at first. However, as the question drags on, Liang looks away and rolls her eyes several times, apparently scoffing. At one point, she makes a disbelieving expression before turning back to stare at Zhang intently, looking her up and down.
Liang's reaction struck a chord with netizens on Chinese social media site Weibo. "Her eye roll reflects the feelings of the country's people to empty words!" one person posted.
"I can identify with Liang Xiangyi's attitude and expression when she rolls her eyes," another said.
The moment was quickly turned into memes, with many referring to the two journalists based on the colour of their outfits - Zhang wore red, the colour of the Chinese Communist Party, while Liang wore blue.
A supposed leaked screenshot between Liang and a friend also circulated on social media, in which Liang responds to her friend's comment that her eye roll was caught on camera by saying that it was "because I was standing beside an idiot ... her question was longer than the answer".
Liang's name, which was originally trending on Weibo, was also apparently censored, with a search for it turning up no results on the site.
On FreeWeibo, a website that provides content censored or blocked on Weibo, it turned up as the number one censored search term.