A slightly macabre post today. The news of toy company boss Zhang Shuhong’s suicide in the wake of Mattel’s first global product recall brought to mind another recent suicide, also apparently caused by external pressures. On June 3, Song Pingshun, formerly Tianjin’s representative to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was found dead in an apparent suicide as he was being questioned for corruption.
The 61-year-old Song’s rank was equivalent to that of a cabinet minister, because of Tianjin’s economic clout, according to Reuters. Song had held a number of powerful positions in the city over the course of his career, having been vice mayor, chief of police and party official in charge of the judiciary and law enforcement.
Song was expelled from the party posthumously in July, a rare disgrace. From China Daily:
The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection decided to take the rare step of posthumous expulsion after finding that Song had “abused his public power to seek benefits for his mistress, seriously violating CPC discipline.”
“Song, morally degenerate, kept a mistress and helped her obtain money through illegal means,” the discipline watchdog said.
Talk about flogging a dead horse!
Cheeky feline blogger Black and White Cat makes some excellent points about the mysterious circumstances surrounding Song’s death, including the fact that mainland media took nearly a month to report it, and that initial reports couldn’t even determine whether he had suffocated himself or leaped out of a building.
Whether it’s business or politics, it seems suicide is a new way out.