Xu Huaiqian graduated from the Department of Chinese Literature at Peking University. He obtained a Master of Arts degree in Social Science. Xu then became the Chief Editor of The Earth, part of The People’s Daily, which is a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He died from falling off the 22nd floor of a building, at the age of 44.
Writer Xu Kun said;
“Last spring, Mr Xu and I were on the judging panel for a famous literature magazine. Mr Xu’s comments were quick witted and he was persistent with his opinions. Mr Xu was the only one who refused to vote for the winner. Alas! His suicide is a pity!”
Sun Wenguang, a retired professor of Shandong University, said that Xu Huaiqian would want to uphold the truth and seek justice for the people through the media, but sometimes encountered difficulties.
“Since the CCP consider the media their mouthpiece, the media thus cannot express independent views. I therefore wonder if Xu just couldn’t bear the pressure under such conditions. If he resisted against the authorities, it would have affected his family and social status. They would be threatened.”
He further pointed out that the officialdom in mainland China is corrupt and issues cannot be resolved through the judicial process. Sun believes that if the media is free, and the legal system upholds justice, people in similar situations to Xu’s will not need to resort to suicide.
Voice of America (VOA) reported that more than 10 CCP officials committed suicide in 2012, and that this news was already made public. Media in mainland China normally report such suicides as a result of stress or depression.
Professor Ren Jingjun from the Public Health Research Center in Tsinghua University, mentioned in the VOA report that officials who committed suicide were affected by factors such as corruption and competition.
Zhu Jianguo, an independent writer from Shenzhen, pointed out that the leading cause of such suicides is the lack of a democratic supervision system. He added that these officials chose to commit suicide before being exposed as corrupted, since they already knew that they would be punished by the current unsound legal system. Following this, the real reasons to their suicides were quickly swept under the rug.
Zhu thus hopes that the society pays more attention to such “suicide from depression” cases.