Chinese Communist leader tries to commit suicide

A local Communist leader who was administering a county, home of many top Chinese army Generals had attempted suicide.

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2010, 14:52 PM IST

Beijing: A local Communist leader who was
administering a county, home of many top Chinese army Generals
had attempted suicide, allegedly stressed by "work pressure",
but survived after he was rushed to hospital on time by his
supporters.

Party chief of Hong`an county in Hubei province Xiong
Liangxiao, who was "under tremendous work pressure", attempted
to commit suicide by slashing his wrist with a blade while
driving, Huanggang`s municipal government said.

Xiong was rushed to a local hospital immediately and his
condition is stable, state run China Daily reported today.

Initial investigations revealed Xiong had not been
implicated in any corruption cases and the extreme step was
more likely a result of increased mental pressure, it said.

"Last month, on the Party secretary mass petition day,
when Xiong had to deal with complaints from the locals, he was
kept busy from morning to 7 pm. He only had fast food for
lunch and didn`t stop for a minute to rest," an aid of his
said.

According to a Hong`an official, who did not want to be
named, Xiong "likes doing all things on his own" and "is very
strict with both himself and his subordinates".

"Hong`an is famous across China as a county for producing
a number of People`s Liberation Army (PLA) Generals, so it
receives more attention and the pressure under which local
leaders work is relatively higher than in other places," the
official said.

Heavy workload and pressure in the government as well as
increasing limelight on corruption scandals have pushed many
officials to end their lives.

According to an earlier report at least 13 officials died
of unnatural causes in 2009, with six of the incidents taking
place in last December alone. Most of the officials committed
suicide.

In the first two months of this year, another five
officials took their lives due to health or mental anxieties.

"Government officials are under a variety of pressures,
such as the pressure to perform, social pressure, pressure to
resist temptation, and pressure from family," professor of
Henan provincial Party school Zhang Tingyin said.

A Shanghai-based sociologist Yu Hai said under the
current scheme of things, officials have little choice but to
curry favour with their superiors for promotions and at the
same time outperform their equally-competitive colleagues to
advance their careers.

"It`s a social rather than an individual problem, and we
need to work on the social forces that lead to the phenomenon
to really address it," he said.

PTI