The youngest mayor in China is now believed to be Zhou Senfeng (周森峰）.
The newly elected mayor is only 29 years old. His resume shows the rapid promotion he got in the past 5 years. Right after he graduated from Qinghua University, one of the best colleges in China, he was appointed to be the deputy director of the Construction Committee in Xiangfan, a city in Hubei province. A position many people can only dream of in their thirties, it started Zhou's rocketing promotion, that finally leads him to be the mayor of YiCheng (宜城）.
This time, the People's Congress of Yicheng unanimously voted him the mayor, which is another shocking fact. A member in the congress said it was unprecedented. His mysterious promotion, therefore, has become the topic of the heated debate on the internet.
A denial of interview and public concern
A broadcast scription reads:
Meanwhile, none of Zhou's colleagues has given any information about the young mayor in his previous posts.
A short path to power
Three years after graduation, Zhou has been promoted to be the vice bureau chief, which is the second position he took. In the following two years, he was promoted for totally 5 times.
An editorial cited by the official media, People's Daily, posed a question on Zhou's rapid promotion. The writer questioned whether the quick promotion violates the CCP regualtions about the procedure of cadre promotion.
Zhou Pengan, the blogger, writes:
Justice-Blade echoed the question on China.com:
Questioning whether Zhou has special family background that brings him to the position, netizens launched Flesh Search Engine in an attempt to find out the truth. Typing in Zhou Senfeng in Baidu, relative terms such as Zhou Senfeng's father, Zhou Senfeng's wife immediately show up, which indicates that millions of people have already tried to find out about his family.
Zhou's father was the first focus. ‘Who is Zhou's father’ became a question frequently seen on the internet. Netizens soon discovered a “suspect”. On around 23, June, the name Zhou Gengyan floated on the internet. According to his public resume, Zhou Gengyan is now the CCP's first secretary of YuZhou, head of the city.
However, official media across the country soon published a story about Zhou's family, claiming that his father is actually a normal worker and his mother a farmer.
The report said:
The report, furthermore, depicted Zhou's home as the worst in the town. His father was said to be working in a porcelain plant for living. Moreover, there are netizens questioning that, if Zhou's father is now only the head of a city, he has no way to promote his son to the same level so quickly.
The contradicting versions about Zhou's family lead netizens to question about Zhou's wife. She was first exposed to be the deputy director of the city congress. But again, she was found to be only the head of a subcomittee. Zhou's father-in-law, who is said to be unemployed now has nothing special as well.
Umbrella and research paper
The official statement told that ‘his appointment coincided with the government's campaign to foster more young cadres.’ He just took well of the chance and earned his own way in the political sphere.
However, it is not too convincing a statement. In China, it is unbelievable that a person without network can rise up so quickly. It is the belief of the most that there must be something going under the table. Driven by the questions, suspicion and distrust, netizens keep on their fight for truth.
Zhou is now facing the attention from across the country. In Baidu.com, a special post-zone(贴吧）was set for people to discuss about the youthful mayor. More facts about his have been dug out.
Blogger Zhao Dahua said in his post ‘Zhou, can't you hold the umbrella yourself?':
Moreover, people discovered that one of Zhou's postgraduate papers plagiarized the paper of another scholar. The paper is about real estate studies, which is the major research topic of Zhou's post-graduate study. 木有下文 writes in his post which is widely cited on the internet:
The blogger then cited the similar paragraphs in the two papers. Qinghua University has started checking the paper but not yet given any response.
Zhou, as the youngest mayor, is thought to be by some people just an unlucky person. It should have been exciting to hear young men promoted to the leadership. In response to such comments on the internet, Blogger Chenyunx replied in his post ‘Why do we have to question about Mayor Zhou.’