The Eye Roll That Upstaged Xi Jinping

NPR News Politics 6 months ago

In what will go down as one of the most significant legislative sessions in modern Chinese history, an eye-rolling millennial managed to steal the show from President Xi Jinping, a man who had just been given permission to rule 1.3 billion people for as long as he wants.

Liang Xiangyi, a young financial news reporter, was so disgusted by a fellow reporter's three-part softball question to a government official at this week's National People's Congress that she was caught on live television rolling her eyes, looking the questioner up and down in disbelief, and then finally turning away in revulsion.

Within an hour, the video clip had gone viral on Chinese social media sites, a GIF of it posted and reposted until the meme took on a life of its own, inspiring copycats to post their own videos.

The video's popularity was hardly surprising. Each year at this time, Chinese viewers have to put up with the state media's gushing coverage of the National People's Congress, a highly choreographed and scripted event where journalists are part of the act, their questions vetted — and often planted — by government officials before they're asked. Liang's eye-rolling response to her sycophantic colleague was a rare moment of spontaneity, a natural human reaction to a mechanized pageant of autocracy.

But in an autocracy, the empire usually strikes back: By the end of the day, Liang Xiangyi's name had been censored on China's largest search engines, the video deleted from Chinese websites and millions of Chinese netizens were suddenly worried about what would become of their newfound hero.

Yicai, the financial newspaper she works for, has reportedly removed Liang from their coverage team of the National People's Congress, and it's a good bet Chinese journalists are being told by their supervisors that from now on, they'd best be keeping any negative reactions — to the Congress and the annual theater surrounding it — to themselves.

Source link
Read also:
SBNation Sports 6 months ago
Michelle Wie hopes to maintain the roll she’s on, after notching her first win since 2014, but mostly the LPGA’s needle-mover wants to remain healthy...
NPR News 6 months ago
It only took 16 days from the public announcement to last weekend's legislative vote that erased presidential term limits from the constitution... Finance 6 months ago
The Senate is poised to pass a bill this week that would weaken the government's ability to enforce fair-lending requirements, making it easier for...
Washington Post Travel 6 months ago
The reporter in the blue seemingly not too impressed with this question at the #NPC #China #TwoSessions — Bill Birtles...
NY Daily News Sports 6 months ago
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball will feature ballpark menus at FoodFest next month.The first MLB FoodFest will be held at an event space near...
The Verge Technology 6 months ago
Chinese reporter Liang Xiangyi eye-rolled during another reporter’s long-winded question at the National People’s Congress yesterday and the moment...
The Telegraph 6 months ago
The National People's Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, has for years been an arena for a very Chinese brand of 'media transparency'. It is...
The Sun Politics 6 months ago
AS China’s Xi Jinping tightens his iron grip on power, his government continues to murder its enemies and censor its people. Since assuming power in...
The Sun 6 months ago
THERE’S a new bathroom trend – and it’s probably not for everyone. Most of us rely on good ol’ fashioned toilet roll when it comes to going to the...
One click to connect
Select a social network to associate your account