The suicide rate is going up for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, and China’s netizens believe it is a consequence of the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
On July 26 Wang Yunqing of Hubei Province was the most recent official to take his life.
According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the 50-year-old Wang left a suicide note saying, “I’m very depressed, unbearably depressed. I’m leaving first.” He then jumped off a building. The police are said to be investigating the case, but no details have been released.
Wang had worked in Hubei government departments for 30 years. He was the chairman of the third State-owned Enterprise Supervisory Committee at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the Hubei Provincial People’s Government.
Shortly after becoming head of the CCP in November 2012, Xi Jinping launched a vigorous anti-corruption campaign. By this July, 521 officials from 31 provinces have been purged.
In Wang’s province Hubei, 36 officials have been investigated for corruption, and two of them were from the Hubei SASAC where Wang worked, according to a state-run media outlet.
Some netizens speculate that Wang’s suicide was caused by the anti-corruption campaign.
“He’s obviously a corrupt official who stole too much, was too afraid, and couldn’t bear the pressure,” a netizen netnamed “Sanbabaoposhou” remarked.
Earlier in July, four officials committed suicide in four days, the Chinese press reported.
On July 10, Luo Liangpin, deputy director of the Financial Bureau in Qingyuan City of Guangdong Province hanged himself to death in his office.
On July 9, Li Haihua, director of the Standing Committee of Xiaogan City of Hubei Province, jumped off a building and died.
On July 8, Zhang Bocheng, director of Health Bureau in Xinyang City of Henan Province committed suicide by jumping off building.
On July 7, Zhong Junbin, a court president in Heyuan County of Guangdong Province committed suicide by lying on a train track.
The number of CCP officials committing suicide has increased in recent years. Incomplete statistics by the mainland business magazine Caixin show 48 officials were reported to have committed suicide in 2013, 21 in 2012, 19 in 2011.
In most cases the causes for officials’ suicides are not given, but when causes are listed depression and high pressure are often given as the reasons.
Many Chinese have lost trust in official reports, and question such a stereotyped conclusion.
“Who can assure that he jumped off the building of his own will? Could he have been forced to jump, or maybe was thrown off building by others? Maybe those who were concluded to have committed suicide were the ones who had a conscience, but they were not trusted by corrupt officials, and they knew too much,” an anonymous netizen in far northeastern Heilongjiang Province commented.
Another netizen from central China’s Henan Province said, “Their death should be related to high level officials… his death can protect a group of corrupt officials behind him who gained more profits.”
Many people said that becoming a communist official is a high risk job nowadays. “One would rather die than being an official. How incredible,” remarked a netizen in Nanjing, in the coastal province of Jiangsu.