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Chinese official sacked after piggyback ride

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BEIJING - A Chinese local official photographed being given a piggyback by a villager while visiting flood victims in Zhejiang province has been sacked after the image caused public outrage online, state media reported on Monday.

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The picture was posted on microblogging site Sina Weibo in the wake of Typhoon Fitow, according to Xinhua news agency. A post accompanying it said the official had received the piggyback because he was wearing expensive shoes.

The local government fired him from his position as director of the construction office in nearby Sanqishi Township, Xinhua reported.

However the local government said the villager had insisted on carrying him across a pond rather than letting him remove his shoes and walk barefoot.

China's ruling Communist Party has been engaging in a crackdown on official corruption and excess. Greater access to the Internet has given Chinese people a forum to publicise cases.

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