(From Netease) September 21, another high ranking Chinese government official died abnormally. Zhejiang Higher People’s Court Vice President Tong Zhaohong was found dead in his office bathroom. Tong Zhaohong committed suicide by drowning himself. According to reports, Tong ZhaoHong had been depressed for months prior to his death. A short suicide note was also found on his office desk.
I have been depressed for several months, it is unbearable, extremely uncomfortable and I lost faith. In particular, I cannot work, sorry for the chaos, and thank you for your concerns.
My wife and my son are very very good people, my actions brought them misfortunes, I hope you can help them under the possible circumstances.
I lied to my wife that I went outside for a walk, I want to work, I really want to go to the office to work.
Hope everyone takes care and good health!
This is the abnormal death #9 of a Chinese official since this year. Prior to this 8 other high ranking officials died abnormally and most of them committed suicide…
Why do Chinese officials commit suicide rather than go to trial?
After abnormal deaths of China’s officials, the aftermath is already a common practice which has been implemented for over ten years in this country already.
1. All media report it as depression, because this reason is easier to be accepted by all parties. Even the deceased would like everyone to think that.
2. The people would always interpret the case as corruption; no need for other explanation, the subtext is even more believable than the official reports. The fact is no one believes the official public reports anymore.
3. Each incident will further stir up more public hatred towards the officials and will cause greater disappointment, at the same time it will increase bigger appétit for people to hope more officials commit suicide or get arrested.
4. “Truth seekers” or the public opinion all think that it is a way for the dead to protect the interests of their families, as a way to sacrifice oneself for the safety of the others, even for other corrupt officials.
5. The deceased and the family, whether there is the good story about them, the tragic story, maybe they were framed… no one would care anymore. (“一死否百善”) When someone is dead, this person is totally bad, completely useless and (“自绝于人民”) “alienated oneself from the people”. This was a Cultural Revolution style of conclusion, which we now fully inherited. To choose this kind of death is to deny one’s entire life.
6. This kind of death, in China usually puts an end to all reasons for investigation; the truth is often forever lost in the black hole of the history.
7. A large number of this kind of incidents happen, which made politicians even colder and more selfish. They knew politics is cruel and realistic. The power you are having but not using will eventually expire; “the tea will be cold as soon as the person leaves”. So-called political reputation which accumulates over the years is totally worthless. Thus, the officials are increasingly more materialistic, care more about immediate benefit, more about the fast track to move up and more about the short-term. “After I am gone, who cares about your hurricanes and floods?”
8. Under the anti-corruption mode, all officials are scared to death. They do not dare to take on responsibilities by themselves, do not dare to offend others for their business or carrying out justice. Because the person who does the most, who fearlessly goes forward is the one that does not cover one’s behind. There will be more loopholes, more frictions and more political opponents. They are more likely to be reported. When there are enough reports and if he gets “double regulated” (双规 Shuanggui: ordered to give a clear explanation of one’s issues; give a confession by certain time and at designated place.) by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, then it is all over for this person. It will be pointless to go to trial in court, and meaningless for defense lawyers to argue. There has not been anyone that come out with a clean reputation. Rather, useless officials who just stand there and do nothing or who always have a smiley face and are nice to everyone are the safer choice. Therefore, officials fear the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to death, one phone call from the Commission makes them to flee the country or even committing suicide. Normally the political circle looks at peace, the fake hellos, ‘how are you doings’ and everyone is good, under the premise of their own safety, making some extra money on the side and then the “safe landing”. The country is at stake, the people are suffering, they will never care. There are more and more incompetent officials, fewer and fewer officials who have courage, it’s like the entire county has Parkinson’s disease. Now the Chinese officialdom is already deeply ill.
9. With special rights, the anti-corruption legal system just fails. Officials believe, including the Prosecutorial office also believes the present criminal proceedings cannot solve cases. The only way is by the Commission for Discipline Inspection which is not restricted by Criminal Law. All the officials who are directed to proceed in this manner never believe the current proceeding of the law, the verdict of the court and the role of the lawyers. I have more than once heard the anti-corruption high ranking officials say, “now days, any officials in at the county level, if I could review them for 5 days and 5 nights and investigate for ten days, no one is innocent enough for for not deserving a sentence.” They believe internal reporting and internal instructions.
A person like these, when he is cracked down, when he is “double regulated”, he knows that even there is injustice in his case, the court will not find out the truth or clarify the facts for him. Hiring lawyers is just for show, much of the money wasted. Like Liu Fangren said, “I am a party member, how can I hire a lawyer to go against the party? The Party can do whatever to me.” As a provincial party secretary, he has no idea about the modern legal system concept; he does not know the important role of the defense lawyers. Even they know there is injustice, they rather accept it and hope to get a lighter sentence. If you hired a lawyer, it could mean that you have an bad attitude and receive a harsher sentence. Many prosecutors and discipline inspection commission staff “educate” the accused just like that. NPC Vice Chairman Cheng Kejie, Guizhou provincial party secretary Liu Fnren and Anhui Provincial deputy secretary Wang Zhaoyao, all see the court and the lawyers that way. Therefore after they were accused, they did not want to find a lawyer at all because they knew that the trial court in China is completely fake, hiring a lawyer is only a process, which is useless because the decision long had been discussed and formed. Because when they were in power, that’s how they did it. They never take the law seriously. If the courts do not follow their instructions, then those presidents of the courts all don’t want their jobs anymore. They totally do not believe China’s legal system.
Under such circumstances, the higher the position is the more this person understands about the insights of China’s judicial system. The expectation of a fair trial is zero, so they will choose to commit suicide to end it all, to avoid torture and humiliation during the investigation, to avoid harm to their families, relatives and friends (Commission for Discipline Inspection finds 100% witnesses on the bribery cases, anyone that has any finical relationship with the defendant will not escape). They can also wrap up the stolen money that way, and protecting their corrupted colleagues and bosses. They could be thanked for doing that, so after they leave their families will have a relatively better living environment.
10. Therefore, “problem officials” in China, as long they have a little courage in them would choose to commit suicide rather than accept an open trial. Because our trials are too fake, there is no fairness and justice. When power is held in others’ hands, everything is decided internally. It is not that China’s courts and judges are deaf or blind, that they cannot find the truth or detecting injustice, it is in the reality of China’s huge amount of corruptions ,the judges themselves have dirt on them, “more than the braids of a Uygur girl”, they cannot stand a investigation themselves. They are kidnapped by the anti-corruption, they do not dare to offend the Commission for Discipline Inspection and the prosecutors. They do not dare to stand by justice, to decide the cases base on facts and evidence. They only have to accommodate the requirements of these institutions. Find the defendant guilty even if it is injustice, to sacrifice the justice in the case, on the expense of the rest of the life of the accused, in order to maintain the prestige of the authority figures and the “national institutions”.
This is why the court will never give a “not guilty” verdict even when there is obvious injustice; this is why China’s courts wear the same pants as the Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Procurator Office and together deal with the lawyers and the defendants; this is why China’s lawyers continue to be suppressed and decrease in value; this is why the lawyers in China who really are not afraid to fight never end up well; this is why many incompetent, “corporative” lawyers… fit right in and get praised; this is the reason why a lot of injustice continuously to happen in China.
If the court or the judge does not follow the orders of Commission for Discipline Inspection, they can just easily find a report received earlier to go arrest the judge. And they often get it right. Under this anti-corruption model, there cannot truly be a independent trial. “The separation of the three powers” is only a theory, if the “anti-corruption of power” does not change in China, if China does not implement “anti-legal corruption”, even with the separation of the three powers, the courts are too soft “like the mud that can never be made into the wall”.
11. Sadly, this is a phenomena of “chasing one’s own tail”. The powerful figures who always insisted the “effective anti-corruption model” then become the victims of this model itself. There are already number of officials in the Commission for Discipline Inspection itself fall to victims of this model. I already defended a lot of them. And others chose to commit suicide. Because they were so clear the court is so fake. Once their power is gone, they are for sure to go behind bars, they would choose to end themselves rather than going to court for trial.
Based on this, after they “had the problems”, in order to avoid jail time, they will utilize all the their power to protect themselves. They will will seek the umbrella of the power for protection, they will use money to pull their greedy peers into the water, they will form a mutual protection group, will use more money to buy more stability through officials at higher levels and power.
Until all of that is done, in fact his corruption is completed. Originally aspired to be a good civil servants, at this point are real useless officials, corrupt officials, parasites that only care about themselves.
Once we understand these things that are in fact common in the officialdom, particularly every judicial official knows the unspoken rules, we know that the Commission for Discipline Inspection’s, "Criminal Procedure Law" and the mode of anti-corruption has to come to an end. It is a model which the more “anti” the more corrupt it gets, and it also will bring down the Communist Party cadres.
After we said this, it is also good for leaders in the Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Procurator Office because under the big fishing net of "anti-corruption authority", no one can escape from it.
Discipline officials, Procurators are equally difficult to escape. There had been cases of Attorney General and the head of anti-corruption committing suicides. Because, according to political principles, a power without increasing prevalence of the power constraints, a power that is closed from the public supervision is the most likely to become the breeding ground for corruption. Having the great power of investigation and discipline is most prone to abuse such power. Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Procuratorate do not have less corruption than the courts, it’s just they have the rights to check others, but others do not have the rights to check them.
The only way is for china to return to the “anti legal corruption” model, strictly enforce the "Code of Criminal Procedure"; give real independent prosecutorial role; adhere to the public judicial procedures; adhere to the people electing officials; adhere to the citizens’ oversight of public authority; adhere to the trial court functioning independently; adhere to listening to rational analysis and defense lawyers. Then China’s judicial system may return to be reasonable, in order to really protect the country’s long-term stability. All of these require substantive political reform, so that it will be safe to be the government officials in China. So that these phenomenon: officials fleeing the country, officials committing suicide, people hating officials and officials threatening other officials and so on will really change.