|“||China turned its back on me. It's not my country anymore.||„|
|~ Cheng Zhi|
|“||You should have stayed hidden like a rat. You could have died an old man.||„|
|~ Jack Bauer, while beating Cheng|
Cheng Zhi is a recurring antagonist in the action series 24, serving as a supporting antagonist in season 4 and season 5, one of the two main antagonists of season 6 (alongside Phillip Bauer), and finally the main antagonist of the 12-episode mini series Live Another Day.
He was portrayed by Tzi Ma.
He first appeared in Day 4 of the series, where he was the Head of Security at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles. At the end of Day 5, he had captured Jack Bauer and tortured him. When Jack Bauer asked Cheng to kill him, he decided not to, as he would be too valuable.
He appears as one of the main antagonists of Day 6, along with Jack's father, Philip. As Jack went off to an investigation to recover five nuclear warheads, Cheng saw this as an opportunity to increase China's power and eventually start a war between America and Russia. By the end of the day, Cheng Zhi was arrested and imprisoned by the Chinese.
In Live Another Day, Cheng Zhi is revealed to have escaped from Chinese imprisonment and he reveals himself as the true main antagonist of the season, when he kills Adrian Cross as well as his men, orders the USS Massachusetts to sink a Chinese aircraft carrier called the Shenyang, and kidnaps Chloe, who eventually escapes. He had hired Cross to build the override device, which was used by Margot Al-Harazi during the events of the season. He had also conspired with Anatol Stolnavich. Near the end of the season, Jack and Belcheck sneak through Cheng's ship and takes out several of Cheng's men. However, Cheng has a sniper pinned down on Audrey Boudreau, and although Kate Morgan succeeded in killing the sniper, a backup gunman guns down Audrey, who dies in Kate's arms.
When Jack hears about this, he breaks down and nearly commits suicide. However, this caused Jack to be enraged and fulfill Audrey's last wish (which the last thing she told him to do was to get rid of Cheng once & for all), who ruthlessly kills the remainder of Cheng's men in a shootout before finding and engaging Cheng in a final battle. The two fight briefly and brutally until Jack gains the advantage by breaking Cheng's arm and beating him senseless while angrily tells him that he should have stayed hidden like a rat and he could have died an old man before using Cheng's face and voice to confirm for the Chinese government officials that Cheng is alive and in Jack's captivity. Then, a furious Jack stares at him for a moment before declaring "This is for Audrey you son of a bitch.", and finally beheading Cheng with a katana to avenge her.