China’s House Cleaning is Just Skin Dee…

On the evening of June 4, investigators from the Central Disciplinary Inspection Committee of the Communist Party scheduled a two-hour meeting with a senior official in Tianjin to discuss allegations of corruption against him. But that morning, a member of Song Pingshun’s staff had already found his boss on his bed, dead from an overdose of sleeping pills. Song, 62, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Tianjin, had been chief of Tianjin’s police force for 15 years and was one of its best known officials, having served in the city for more than 40 years. Song is the most prominent victim of yet another of China’s recurring campaigns against corruption. Having held the rank of minister, he became the highest-ranking suicide in China since the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), when dozens of senior officials took their own lives to escape torture, persecution and imprisonment by Red Guards.

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