East China of­fi­cial mimes speech to cam­era in crunchy ce­ment scan­dal

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Zhang Han Page Ed­i­tor:

A Shan­dong of­fi­cial has drawn crit­i­cism for feign­ing speech to cam­era – while si­lent – after be­ing asked to ex­plain how fake crunchy ce­ment came to be used to build a school dor­mi­tory.

The of­fi­cial, from the city of Zaozhuang in East China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince, first de­clined to be in­ter­viewed, and when the re­porter pushed, he opened his mouth as if speaking but said noth­ing, ac­cord­ing to a video pub­lished by China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion (CCTV) on Sat­ur­day.

The CCTV show pro­ducer told Bei­jing Youth Daily that they in­ter­viewed the of­fi­cial twice and he mimed speech for at least five min­utes.

The of­fi­cial was loud and talk­a­tive when talk­ing to a ce­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion team, the pro­ducer noted.

The of­fi­cial’s name has not been re­vealed.

Ac­cord­ing to a press con­fer­ence on Sun­day, the of­fi­cial had been “crit­i­cized and ed­u­cated.”

The problemati­c ce­ment was first re­vealed to the pub­lic in early July when a prin­ci­pal in Cen­tral China’s He­nan Prov­ince com­plained that 25 tons of ce­ment from a Shan­dong com­pany was of poor qual­ity.

The ce­ment did not dry prop­erly and broke into pieces when thrown to the ground. The prin­ci­pal stopped con­struc­tion after he dis­cov­ered the ce­ment was crunchy and con­tacted test­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions which said the ce­ment were below stan­dard.

Samples taken on July 15 by Shan­dong gov­ern­ment, part of a batch of 200 tons, were also proved to be below stan­dard.

The ce­ment was sold to other places, ac­cord­ing to the Sun­day press con­fer­ence. Two sus­pects from the ce­ment com­pany were taken into po­lice cus­tody.

Zhu Wei, a pro­fes­sor at the China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence and Law in Bei­jing, said that the of­fi­cial’s odd be­hav­ior sug­gests that some ba­sic-level of­fi­cials did not know how to deal with the media or ad­dress pub­lic con­cerns in a scan­dal. dengx­i­aoci @glob­al­times.com.cn

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