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Spate of suicides in China still largely unexplained

/ 11:42 AM November 13, 2015

CHINA—The unnatural deaths of seven government officials in less than a month have raised concerns among members of the public, as the causes of some of the deaths have not been explained.

Yang Xiaojun, a law professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said only limited information has been provided from official sources, and it’s not sufficient to stop the public from speculating.

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He said he believes the results of investigations into the deaths are a matter of public concern and that governmental departments need to explain the causes in a timely manner.

Earlier this year, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee issued a notice requiring the public release of detailed information about deceased officials.

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According to a report in Southern Weekly, 112 officials committed suicide from August 2003 to April 2014, with 39 percent of those dying in their offices, 33 percent at home and the rest at parks or clubs.

Hao Zhuang, security chief in Jiaohe, Jilin province, died after falling from the window of his sixth-floor office on Monday morning.

The local government made a statement, saying Hao fell from the window accidentally when he was cleaning the window glass and died of critical injuries despite emergency medical treatment. No other details were available.

Also on Monday, Wang Jinwei, 50, head of the finance bureau of Enshi, Hubei province, died after falling from the roof of the residential building where he lived. No explanation for his death has been released.

According to a report by Legal Evening News, officials who died of unnatural causes recently include Xiao Wensun, mayor of Liuzhou in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, who drowned in a river on Nov 4; Zhang Jianwei, head of the disciplinary department of China Nation Offshore Oil Corporation, who died in his office on Nov 3; Wang Pin’gang, senior vice-president of China Shenhua Energy Co, who died on Oct 29, the same day the former head of the land and resources department in Xiamen, Fujian province, surnamed Lin, hanged himself in a park; and Chen Hongqiao, president of Guosen Securities, who committed suicide at his home on Oct 23.

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If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Center for Mental Health hotline at 0917-899-USAP (8727); (02) 7-989-USAP; or 1553 (landline to landline, toll-free).

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TAGS: China, death, Government, officials, Public, Suicide
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