"It can be said that the eye-rolling reporter is rolling her eyes for the whole country", said one Weibo user. Zhang apparently did not help matters with her lengthy and overly flattering question. As Zhang Huijun went on and on for almost 40 seconds, Liang Xiangyi didn't hide how unimpressed she was, as she dramatically rolled her eyes and looked away with disgust.
State broadcaster CCTV captured the moment on camera, in a clip that was uploaded to Youtube.
It was a rare puncturing of the artifice surrounding the widely watched, intentionally tiresome National People's Congress.
On Sunday, Xi Jinping set himself up as China's leader for life, scrapping presidential term limits in a dramatic power play that experts believe could open up cavernous divisions within the Communist party elite.More news: Stewart reunites with Shula, Gettleman as he joins the Giants Video
With any meaningful public discussion of national policies strictly suppressed, her obvious disdain was immediately popular on social media.
Liang's image was plastered onto T-shirts and cellphone cases sold on Taobao, China's ever-reactive eBay equivalent. In one video, three men recreated the incident with a deadpan expression.
The journalist asking the question Tuesday introduced herself as Zhang Huijun with a U.S. news outlet, American Multimedia Television - though she kept referring to China as "our country" in her remarks.
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.More news: Toyota Teases new 2019 RAV4 Ahead of New York Reveal
The two journalists were part of the press conference following the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress, where questions are known to be screened and pre-approved. Neither Zhang's employer nor Liang's responded to a request for comment on the incident on Tuesday.
"The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic of universal concern".
"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".
"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's the result of our supervision? Liang asks, before signing off with a confident and concise: "Thank you!"More news: Man's 'Missing' Brain Was Actually a Large Air Pocket Inside His Head