A humanoid youkai (presumably resembling a Han Chinese). She works as the gatekeeper of the Scarlet Devil Mansion and specializes in Chinese martial arts. Unusually for a Touhou character, it is unclear what kind of youkai Meiling is, but many fans associate her with dragons. This is in part due to the star on her beret, which bears the Chinese character for "dragon" (龍, Long). Hong is also the name of a specific dragon from Chinese mythology, implying Meiling has some relation (such as parent and child), or actually is Hong, leading to frequent depictions as a dragon. There are also occasional images that depict her as a panda.
Fandom also often depicts Meiling as being lazy and ineffective at her job, and often being berated and/or punished for this by Izayoi Sakuya. In canon, however, her relationship with Sakuya is actually something closer to amicable co-workers, if not outright friendship, and she is generally very good at her job of repelling intruders, with the notable exception of Kirisame Marisa, who everyone else at the mansion admits is impossible to keep out when she wants access to Voile.
Sometimes known by her nickname "China" (中国, Chuugoku), which originated on 2channel during a debate about the proper reading of her name's kanji (some believed it to be the Japanese reading "Kurenai Misuzu", and it wasn't until later that ZUN revealed that the Chinese reading "Hong Meiling" is correct). Fans came to an agreement that her defining characteristic is being Chinese, and thus called her "China".
Person: long hair, red hair, twin braids, green eyes, blue eyes
Outfit: chinese clothes, green headwear, beret, white shirt, green vest, green skirt, green dress, collared dress, puffy short sleeves, frilled sleeves, black ribbon, neck ribbon, white pants, black footwear, shoes
Accessories: star (symbol), black bow, hair bow