CHENGDU, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese quake-hit county official defended Friday the controversial purchase of a 1.1 million yuan luxury Toyota land cruiser car, after the deal was exposed on the Internet.
A blog article on the Internet exposed the luxury car to the public. Some netizens said it was unnecessary for the county to buy such an expensive vehicle for officials.
Zhang Depu, chief of Beichuan County Public Security Bureau, said the land cruiser would become a wireless communications car for emergency use in rescue and disaster relief work.
The mountainous county had about 20,000 people dead or missing in last May's massive earthquake, which left more than 80,000 people dead or missing in total.
The official said the tough transport conditions in the county needed high-quality cross-country vehicles in emergencies.
The county paid a total of 1.1 million yuan (about 160,000 U.S. dollars) for the car and its purchase tax.