The former party chief of Xifeng County, Liaoning Province, who was ordered to resign following a scandal, has come back, this time as a vice director of an important local light rail project.
Zhang Zhiguo was forced to quit for having police subpoena a Beijing-based reporter in retaliation for a story about the local justice system early this year.
Reporter Zhu Wenna published a story on January 1 this year, in which she claimed that Xifeng officials were not following procedure in a court case against a businesswoman.
The article angered Zhang, who in turn dispatched local police to travel 500 miles to Beijing to arrest Zhu. The move by the police sparked nationwide protest, forcing Xifeng police to withdraw the investigation against Zhu on January 9.
A local report last week revealed that Zhang was appointed the vice director of the light rail project linking Tieling, a local city, and Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning.
Now Zhang's return has caused an uproar again in the Chinese internet community. Many have questioned his quick "return" in the wake of his outrageous disregard of the law, because according to regulations, he should have to wait for at least a year before being appointed to another post.
Others doubt that he has changed his overbearing work style at all. Still others went further, noting that reporters should take caution now as Zhang may arrest them if they dare to write anything bad about him.
(CRI November 24, 2008)