Official bows to reporters, wishes at news conference

By An Baijie (
Updated: 2014-03-11 15:09

On March 10, five deputies of the National People's Congress attended a news conference to answer questions about how they fulfilled their duties last year.

Some of the deputies are quite familiar to reporters as they have frequently commented on public topics before. For example, Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert specializing on pandemics, established his fame a decade ago when an epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, also known as SARS, broke out in China.

Other deputies are not so known to journalists due to a lack of previous news reports featuring them.

To provide equal opportunities for all five deputies to talk with the press, the official who presided over the news conference suggested that reporters should ask some questions of a female deputy who is also a village official in Shanxi province.

However, after a Japanese reporter was chosen to ask, he said he would like to ask questions of Zhong, the renowned respiratory expert.

"I am sorry, I have already said that the question should be given to Ms Guo (the village official)," the presiding official told the Japanese reporter.

"Now, the next reporter, please," the official said and called on a female reporter.

The Japanese reporter appeared embarrassed — he remained standing until a worker came to take back the microphone in his hand.

It was not only the Japanese reporter who was dissatisfied, however. Some other reporters whispered, "Let him ask".

The whispers quickly became louder after with other reporters voicing similar support for the Japanese reporter.

The presiding official smiled on hearing the calls, and he then allowed the Japanese reporter to ask his questions, about the spreading H7N9 bird flu virus, which were answered in full by Zhong.

It is not the first time presiding officials have respected the will of reporters at news conferences during the annual sessions of the NPC and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

On March 2, a reporter from South China Morning Post got a chance to ask questions after shouting, "Let Hong Kong media ask", even though the presiding official had already announced the end of the CPPCC news conference.

He finally asked a question about a former senior official that made the headlines of many news portal websites immediately.