ZHENGZHOU, HENAN — Honest displays of exasperation can sometimes get you in trouble in China.
During an arranged Q&A session with a government official attending the national party congress meeting, a US-based reporter (at right with the mic) launched into a long-winded introduction to her softball question. Another reporter, Liang Xiangyi of China Business News, at first looks amused, then exasperated, and finally rolls her eyes toward the sky and looks away.
Her honest reaction to an obvious suck-up question quickly went viral on Chinese social media, with many commenters praising her for expressing what they felt. Memes like the one below were also swiftly circulated. Then the censors jumped in and cleaned all such commentary off the ‘Net.
Liang has reportedly lost her press credentials to cover the National People’s Congress now being held in Beijing.
Meanwhile, netizens in the USA are questioning whether American Multimedia Television USA, the media outlet represented by the long-winded reporter, Zhang Huijun, might be connected to the Chinese Communist Party in some way.
Here’s a translation of Zhang’s query.
You can see Liang’s reaction to it in this YouTube clip. Similar clips have been removed from China’s video-sharing sites.
Also published on Medium.