Chinese reporter's eye roll goes viral

China's President Xi Jinping is seen on a large screen over delegates as he joins a session of the National People's Congress to vote on a constitutional amendment March 11. Chinese lawmakers abolished presidential term limits and paved the way

"I am Zhang Huijun, executive director of American Multimedia Television USA", the journalist began before launching into a 40-second monologue as boring as it was directionless.

It was a rare moment of spontaneity at the highly choreographed two-week gathering of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's largely ceremonial parliament.

While Huijun may have been busy asking the question and missed Xiangyi's expression, the eye-roll went viral on China's internet with the video shared widely on WeChat and other social media platforms, reported the Shanghaiist.

Jeremy Paxman it certainly was not - but then Beijing-friendly reporters such as Zhang are often tasked with lobbing softball questions at leaders in a bid to convince the Chinese public and the world that they are watching transparency in action.

Captured live on state television, Liang Xiangyi, a correspondent for the Shanghai-based Yicai financial news network, looked up and down at the journalist next to her, as the latter began questioning a government official on the subject of state asset supervision.

Imitation videos quickly appeared on Chinese social media. 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.

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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. "The woman next to me was being an idiot", Liang reportedly told a colleague by way of explanation in a social media message that leaked online.

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

The channel is known to have a tie-up with China's State broadcaster, CCTV. This year, it has drawn heightened attention for a constitutional amendment that abolished term limits for President Xi Jinping. T-shirts and mobile phone covers celebrating Liang's inadvertent and flamboyant show of dissent were selling on online stores such as Taobao.

But Liang's epic eye-roll has now grabbed the limelight.

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!"

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