Spate of Suicides by Chinese Officials Hits 23 Since 2013. Why Are They Killing Themselves?

Chen Beifeng, deputy mayor of Weifang City in Shandong Province, is the latest official to kill himself. (Screenshot/
Chen Beifeng, deputy mayor of Weifang City in Shandong Province, is the latest official to kill himself. (Screenshot/

Since the start of last year, 54 officials Communist Party have died unnatural deaths, with 23 (that’s 40 percent) being suicides, according to a survey by China Youth Daily.

The most common suicide method was jumping off a building, followed closely by hanging. Drinking pesticide or inhaling carbon monoxide were also used.

Many officials commented that the main reason is due to their stressful work environments, Sohu reported.

For example, Weixing He, the 49-year-old deputy head of a state television station in Hunan Province, recently hanged himself. He left two suicide notes, saying: “Pain, pain, pain,” and “I worked diligently, but accomplished nothing. The pressure at work is huge.”

A provincial official told Sohu: “In some workplaces where things are less democratic, the rule of law is not apparent and unspoken rules prevail, meaning many officials live in fear–fear of making mistakes, being reprimanded by their supervisors, or being treated coldly by the organization. Some officials nurtured a personal relationship with their boss, like a form of bondage, putting a lot of effort into pleasing their senior officers. The result is physical and mental fatigue.” A province authority said this.

There are also cases of corruption, with some officials deciding to kill themselves before the extent of their crimes is discovered. In China, corruption investigations usually stop when an official dies.

The most common cause cited for the other deaths was mental illness, particularly depression, followed by overconsumption of alcohol. Car accidents, murder, and execution were responsible for over 10 other unnatural deaths.

Yongyuan Cui, who previously worked as a host for state mouthpiece China Central Television, and used to suffer from depression, made this sarcastic comment on Weibo which got forwarded 10,000 times:”Screw it! They’re claiming that any corrupt official who committed suicide was depressed. They are ruining the word depression!”

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