Untimely death of intelligence officer

Updated: 2014-07-06 22:10

By AN BAIJIE and ZHANG YAN (chinadaily.com.cn)

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An intelligence officer died of exhaustion while working in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, late last month.

Yu Tianhua, 47, vice director of the intelligence center of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), died in Urumqi on the evening of June 29 after paramedics were unable to save him, according to a statement released on the ministry's official website.

He was taking part in a campaign initiated by the MPS to fight terrorism in Xinjiang when he became unwell.

Hu Xin, an official with the International Cooperation Bureau of the MPS, told China Daily that Yu went to Xinjiang on June 12 to participate in the anti-terrorism campaign that is scheduled to last for one year.

"Yu had been suffering from heart disease and diabetes for many years, and he had seven coronary stent implants before going to Xinjiang," said Hu, who worked with Yu.

His physical condition was not suited for the stressful work in Xinjiang, but he chose to work there voluntarily since he has much experience tackling terrorism, Hu said.

Yu's main responsibility involved collecting and analyzing information related to terrorist attacks, he said, adding that Yu was a "nice and easy-going person."

Guo Shengkun, a State Councilor and also minister of public security, attended Yu's funeral held in Beijing on Friday morning. Six vice-ministers were also present.

Guo expressed his sadness over the loss of an "excellent colleague", and he called on the police departments around the country to learn from Yu in their work concerning social order and protecting the people.

Yu started to work in the department focusing on explosives and terrorist incidents of the MPS in 1990, soon after graduating from university. He was vice head of the Public Security Department of Xinjiang from September 2008 to July 2011, and became vice director of the intelligence center of the Ministry of Public Security a year later.

As a senior expert on hijackings, explosions and poisoning cases, Yu investigated more than 20 cases involving airplane hijackings and over 100 terrorist incidents, according to an obituary published by the National Police University of China, where he studied from 1986 to 1990.

Yu received many awards, and he met with then President Hu Jintao in 2005 when he received the honorary title of national excellent work.

When a riot broke out in Urumqi on July 5, 2009, he was dispatched to the city and worked without a break for two months as vice chief of the anti-terrorism headquarters. The riot left 197 people dead.

On Sunday, netizens and police officers expressed their condolences on social media.

"He always considered his work to be his top priority, and his own physical condition was his last concern. It's a pity that such an excellent officer died at such an early age," a police officer said on Wechat, a popular Chinese social network.