Second unusual death in a week gets attention

Updated: 2016-04-08 08:05

By Zhang Yi(China Daily)

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The second unusual death of a government official in less than a week - a presiding judge at a court in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region - has drawn wide public attention, but detailed information about the incident and others like it in the past has not been released.

Mi Jianjun, 55, who worked in the criminal division of the Intermediate People's Court in Tongliao, fell from the seventh floor of his office building on Wednesday.

Court spokesman Li Fengyu confirmed the death on Thursday, saying an investigation is underway. Li didn't provide more information about the incident, and no detailed personal information about the judge was available as of Thursday evening.

"He was declared dead at the scene," said an emergency rescue worker who requested anonymity. The body was sent to a funeral parlor.

On Sunday, Tang Tiansheng, head of the Food and Drug Administration's Guilin bureau in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, died after falling from the eighth floor of the hospital building where he was a patient.

Tang was admitted to the neurology department on April 2. That case also remains under investigation.

Second unusual death in a week gets attention

Business magazine Caijing cited its own rough statistics showing there were 52 suicides among 99 unusual deaths of government officials between December 2012 and February 2015.

Of the other deaths, 34 people were reported to have fallen from buildings or drowned. Little public information on the causes of those deaths is available.

The magazine cited Xu Yan, a psychology professor at Beijing Normal University, as saying government officials are prone to depression when they encounter problems in climbing the ladder of officialdom in China and are left with few career options.

But there are many reasons for depression among government officials, just as there are for every other person, said Ren Jianming, a professor of public administration at Beihang University who researches anti-corruption and governance. So it's hard to associate their deaths with anti-corruption efforts as rumors do, he said.

Wei Jie, a lawyer at Jieqiang Law Firm in Beijing, said the deaths of government officials usually draw wide public attention because they are public figures, especially if the officials were involved in legal disputes or disciplinary cases.

(China Daily 04/08/2016 page5)