Urgent Lunch Appointment

Chinese media reported this week that a van that ran a red light under police escort and struck a young bicyclist in Hebei’s Xingtai City back in March 2009 was part of an official government caravan rushing top local county leader Gu Pengtu (邢台县) off to a lunch appointment. The accident reportedly left the bicyclist crippled, and the young man’s family spent months pushing the government for compensation. Finally, on March 10 this year, a local court in Xingtai awarded the family 1.25 million yuan in compensation. But the circumstances of the tragedy became known only this month, when a Chinese web user posted a message online revealing that the van involved in the accident was conveying Gu Pengtu, then acting governor of Xingtai County, off to a lunch appointment. The post, whose facts have since been confirmed by China Youth Daily, also said that Gu Pengtu was immediately led away from the scene by his escorts. In the following cartoon, posted by artist Shang Haichun (商海春) to his blog at QQ.com, a police car, sirens blaring, tugs a sedan in the shape of an official’s cap, on top of which is seated a fat official holding a huge fork. The official’s mouth waters as he closes his eyes in apparent revery over the lunch that awaits..

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