Hua’s appointment praised online
Net users reflect on highlights of her as FM spokesperson
Chinese netizens on Monday hailed the appointment of Hua Chunying as head of the Foreign Ministry’s information department, with many praising the longtime ministry spokesperson’s manners, past humorous responses and forceful tone during routine press conferences.
Hua takes over the post from Lu Kang, who will assume the position of director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry.
As the country’s fifth woman to be Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua is liked by many Chinese people who describe her handling of press conferences as “gentle but fierce and pithy.”
Netizens have been impressed by her personal charm and professional performance. Many Chinese netizens call her “Sister Hua” on social media platforms.
At Monday’s press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that the ministry always advocates gender equality.
“Both men and women can serve as spokespersons and head the information department of the ministry. We definitely mean it,” Geng said.
Chinese netizens on Weibo sent their congratulations to Hua.
Some thanked her for being an excellent role model for women, saying that her appointment shows that women can make it to China’s political stage.
In 2012, the short-haired and smiling Hua’s first appearance immediately prompted public discussions with many netizens calling her “beautiful and graceful.”
In August 2018, Hua refuted Japanese Sankei News’ groundless charge that China “illegally prevented” the paper’s journalist from attending a news event in Beijing. Hua’s 1,100-word response was rare for a spokesperson and hailed by netizens as “tough and pithy.”
Hua’s humor also showed that a spokesperson could also project soft power during press conferences.
During a press conference on October 25, 2018, Hua humorously commented that certain people in the US are sparing no efforts to win the “Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay,” in response to reports that Chinese and Russian intelligence agencies had been bugging President Trump’s iphones.
She even suggested US officials should use mobile phones produced by Huawei if they were worried about the security of their iphones.
Hua is popular among Japanese netizens. Search her name on Google in Japanese and a collection of her photos of her life experiences pops up.
Japanese internet users even nicknamed her bimajo, or magic beauty.
Photos of her laughing were widely circulated in 2017 among Chinese and Japanese netizens, when Hua mistook a reporter’s question at a press conference.
A Japanese reporter asked Hua for her comments on giant panda Xiangxiang’s public debut at a Tokyo zoo.
Hua misheard “Xiangxiang” for “Shanshan,” the Chinese pronunciation of the name of former Japanese vice foreign minister Shinsuke Sugiyama.
When she was corrected, Hua burst into hearty laughter. News reports of the humorous incident led Japanese netizens to say Hua’s smile was cute and that her laugh will further improve bilateral relations.