Piggyback ride costs China official his job

CHINA - A Chinese official was removed from his post on Monday, after a picture of him being given a piggyback ride sparked an online uproar, state media reported.

The image, published on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, showed the local official being carried on a villager's back while visiting flood victims in Zhejiang province.

A post published with the image said the official, surnamed Wang, was being carried because he was wearing a pair of high-end shoes, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

Mr Wang worked for the Sanqishi township's government in the city of Yuyao.

The local government said he had been removed from his post as director of the township's construction office, Xinhua reported.

He had been set to take off his shoes and walk barefoot over a small pond to reach a victim's house, the Sanqishi government told Xinhua.

However, a villager "lifted Mr Wang on his back despite Mr Wang insisting on walking barefoot".

The villager gave the official another piggyback ride as they left the house, the agency said.

Earlier this month, Typhoon Fitow barrelled through Zhejiang, leaving 10 people dead and affecting around seven million people in the province, with houses razed and grain flooded.

Parts of Zhejiang, which neighbours the commercial hub Shanghai, saw nearly 29cm of rain over 17 hours during the storm, the official China News Service said. Tens of thousands of people in Yuyao were affected.