The eyes have it on the question of tedium

Journalist Liang Xiangyi was right to react after a colleague at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress would just not shut up

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 March, 2018, 1:28am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 March, 2018, 1:28am

When I was a reporter, I made it a point to try to ask short and sharp questions at press conferences so as not to waste everyone’s time. But inevitably, there were some journalistic colleagues who, once they had been handed the microphone, went on and on with their unending lines of questioning. Sometimes, they even added commentaries. Maybe they were being incisive!

And then there was often the lone questioner who, with a pained and puzzled look, decided to raise his hand one last time and prolong the meeting when everyone else was ready to call it quits.

That’s why the epic eye roll of mainland finance journalist Liang Xiangyi brings back bad memories. I sympathise with her entirely. Many mainland people feel the same way, judging by their internet responses. From the financial news site Yicai, she was covering a staged doorstop at the Great Hall of the People at the gathering of the nation’s legislature.

Chinese reporter censored after her eye-roll on live TV goes viral 

Liang was seen on live CCTV standing beside Zhang Huijun, from American Multimedia Television USA, as the latter began lobbing questions. First she scoffed to herself, then turned to scrutinise Zhang in disbelief. Eyeing her up and down, Liang rolled her eyes before tilting her head to the other side in revulsion.

For this, Liang’s name has been censored on the internet and her press accreditation to the annual event revoked. That’s so unfair. It wasn’t like she was scoffing at the official honchos, just a colleague who wouldn’t shut up.

Here’s what Zhang asked:

“The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic of universal concern. Therefore, as the director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, what new moves will you make in 2018? 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. With general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi [Jinping] 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? What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what’s the result of our supervision? Please summarise for us, thank you.”

I mean, wouldn’t you roll your eyes, too?