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Cheng Zhi
24 character
Cheng Zhi.jpg
Tzi Ma as Cheng Zhi
Portrayed by Tzi Ma
Appearances 4, 5, 6

Cheng Zhi is a fictional character played by Tzi Ma on the television series 24. He is a Chinese official and an enemy of Jack Bauer. At the end of Day 6, Bauer badly scars Cheng during an assault and captures him.




24: Season 4

During Day 4, Cheng is a director of security for the Los Angeles Chinese Consulate building. Lee Jong, a Chinese scientist working for Habib Marwan, takes refuge in the facility, having been warned by Marwan that CTU would be looking for him; he also fears that Marwan would attempt to kill him to prevent him revealing any information to CTU. CTU initially attempts to convince the Consulate officials to turn Lee over through diplomatic channels. Though the Consul sympathizes with their situation, the Chinese Government refused to make a rash decision and informs the United States Government that it will be "2 to 3 hours" before the Chinese comes to a decision. However, because a nuclear warhead could detonate at any second, David Palmer was unwilling to wait for China's response and allows Jack Bauer to lead a team in a covert raid on the consulate. The raid goes awry, however, as Lee is wounded and the Consul is killed, though Bauer succeeds in acquiring Lee. Immediately after, the U.S. government attempts to shift blame for the raid to radical Chinese groups.[1][2]

Cheng views the situation as a violation of the honor of Chinese sovereignty. Dissatisfied with the explanation provided by CTU, Cheng launches his own investigation into the attack. Based on consulate video, he captures a member of Jack's strike team, who implicates Jack Bauer as the strike team's leader. Cheng then demands that President Charles Logan hands Jack over to stand trial in China. Logan's head of security Walt Cummings, concerned about a government agent with Jack's knowledge falling into Chinese hands, secretly arranges for Jack's elimination (with Logan's unspoken approval), prompting Jack to fake his death.[3][4]

24: Season 5

18 months later, Cheng discovers that Jack is still alive (it is implied in Season 6 that Graem Bauer informed them), and the fifth season ends with Cheng orchestrating Jack's abduction. As they head back on a container ship to China, Jack begs Cheng to kill him. Cheng, however, tells Jack that he is "too valuable to kill".[5]

Season 6 Prequel

As depicted in the Day 6 prequel, the Chinese proceed to interrogate and torture Jack for the next seven months under Cheng's supervision. The Chinese are aware that one of two men working in their government, Lee or Hong, is a spy working for the United States, but did not know which one was the spy. Despite continued torture, Jack does not divulge the information.

One night, two Americans rescue Jack from his cell and transport him to a rendezvous point, where Hong Wai is waiting. It turns out the "rescue" has been staged by Cheng himself and Bauer's recognition has exposed Hong, whom Cheng immediately shoots and kills. Cheng then orders his men to take Bauer back to his cell, and promised to wire the two Americans their money.

24: Season 6

Cheng Zhi returns with Jack to Los Angeles, where he gives Jack back to CTU. Cheng says Jack had not spoken a word in two years. In response, Jack flashes Cheng an angry defiant look.[6]

When the nuclear crisis was resolved Cheng resurfaced and is seen holding Audrey Raines, who was earlier believed to be deceased. Jack tells Cheng that he cannot get near the component, however Cheng tells him that he will "find a way."[7] Jack is arrested while trying to obtain the component, however gets the blessing of the President after speaking to him. He assures President Wayne Palmer that he will destroy the device after learning that Audrey is safe. As Jack is on his way to Cheng with the component, Vice President Noah Daniels shoots down the mission because he is now in power after the latest health situation of Palmer. Jack is able to get Mike Doyle out of the car at gunpoint, and leaves to meet Cheng and Audrey.[7]

When Cheng dictates the meeting point for the exchange, Jack refuses. They settle on a neutral area. When Cheng arrives, Jack exchanges the component for Audrey. He tells her to walk 100 yards past the bridge, which is visible from the building. As Audrey is walking, Doyle and other CTU agents engage in a fire fight. At this time, Cheng escapes with the component. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Audrey has somehow been brainwashed by the Chinese.[8]

When Cheng attempts to gain information from the component, access is denied. He needs to pass through the override, but needs the help of CTU. He sends a man named Zhou and his team on a mission to CTU, which claims the life of Milo Pressman, in order to retrieve Jack's nephew, Josh Bauer, for Jack's father, Phillip Bauer. In exchange, the elder Bauer is fixing the sub-circuit board for Cheng.[9]

The plan does not go as he expected though. Jack Bauer and a CTU tactical team surprise Cheng and his men as they leave to meet Phillip Bauer. During the exchange, most of Cheng's men were killed and he himself was nearly captured by Jack. Cheng is only able to escape because Jack chose to rescue Josh instead of going after him.[10]

Not long after, Phillip is furious to find out what happened. He refuses to give the circuit board back to Cheng. The two get into a verbal argument. In the end, they threaten each other and Phillip is trying to give the board to the United States Government in exchange for his grandson.[11]

In the season finale, Cheng has resumed a working relationship with Phillip. Cheng arranges for a Chinese submarine to retrieve Phillip and Josh from the abandoned oil rig where they had set up a base. However, before they can do so, an airstrike destroys the platform. Phillip is presumably killed, the circuit board is destroyed, and Cheng is taken into custody. As of the end of the finale, Cheng is told that he will be transferred into federal custody. Cheng merely replies, "My people will not abandon me like you abandoned Jack Bauer."[12]


  1. ^ "2:00am-3:00am". Writer: Peter Lenkov Director: Bryan Spicer. 24. 2005-05-02. No. 92, season 4.
  2. ^ "3:00am-4:00am". Writer: Joel Surnow Director: Kevin Hooks. 24. 2005-05-09. No. 93, season 4.
  3. ^ "5:00am-6:00am". Writer: Sam Montgomery Director: Jon Cassar. 24. 2005-05-23. No. 95, season 4.
  4. ^ "6:00am-7:00am". Writer: Robert Cochran and Howard Gordon Director: Jon Cassar. 24. 2005-05-23. No. 96, season 4.
  5. ^ "9:00 AM - 10:00 AM". Writer: Robert Cochran Director: Jon Cassar. 24. 2006-05-22. No. 120, season 5.
  6. ^ "6:00am-7:00am". Writer: Howard Gordon Director: Jon Cassar. 24. 2007-01-14. No. 121.
  7. ^ a b "11:00pm-12:00am". Writer: Matt Michnovetz Director: Bryan Spicer. 24. 2007-04-16. No. 138, season 6.
  8. ^ "12:00pm-1:00am". Writer: Joel Surnow Director: Brad Turner. 24. 2007-04-23. No. 139, season 6.
  9. ^ "2:00am-3:00am". Writer: Manny Coto Director: Bryan Spicer. 24. 2007-05-07. No. 141, season 6.
  10. ^ "3:00am-4:00am". Writer: Howard Gordon Director: Bryan Spicer. 24. 2007-05-14. No. 142, season 6.
  11. ^ "4:00am-5:00am". Writer: Joel Surnow Director: Brad Turner. 24. 2007-05-21. No. 143, season 6.
  12. ^ "5:00am-6:00am". Writer: Robert Cochran Director: Brad Turner. 24. 2007-05-21. No. 144, season 6.


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