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14 March 2018, 10:36 | Erica Roy
Liang Xiangyi protests with her facial expressions during a press conference in China
A journalist from China is breaking the internet after she was caught on camera rolling eyes to a fellow journalist at a press conference. Journalists were expected to ask concise questions, but the reporter, named Zhang Huijun, posed hers in a drawn out, loquacious manner, earning a dramatic eyeroll and disdainful look from the reporter next to her.
AFP journalists did not see Liang or Zhang during a session on Wednesday of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory board that holds its annual session at the same time as the NPC.
Netizens, however, have expressed their support for Liang on her Weibo account, which quickly accumulated over 225,000 followers as of this writing. The channel is known to have a tie-up with China's State broadcaster, CCTV.
Within minutes, numerous clips, GIFs and recreations of the eye roll began to spread like wildfire across the Chinese internet, prompting censors to suppress its spread and banning Liang's name from online search results.
"The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic that everyone is concerned about".
On the messaging app WeChat, people jokingly separated Liang and the questioner into two parties based on the colour of their clothing.
"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".
Liang's image was plastered onto T-shirts and cellphone cases sold on Taobao, China's ever-reactive eBay equivalent. 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? This also led to censors trying to contain the hysteria as Liang's name became the second most blocked name on Weibo. Now it seems like similar gestures are gaining attention on the digital space with similar videos going viral.
Liang appeared so turned off by what she was hearing that she rolled her eyes while turning her head away from the other reporter, whose fawning question lasted a whopping 44 seconds - an eternity in live broadcast.
But the eye-roll resulted in her media accreditation to cover the NPC was revoked, reports South China Morning Post, quoting a colleague. "Please summarise for us, thank you". "Her eye roll reflects the feelings of the country's people to empty words!" one person posted.
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