Nothing suspicious in death of Zheng Xiaosong, China’s top official in Macau, police say

  • ‘No criminality’ found after director of Beijing’s liaison office falls from building on Saturday night
  • Officers find no message from 59-year-old official, who had ‘suffered from depression’
PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 10:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 10:59pm

Macau police on Monday said they had found nothing suspicious surrounding the death of China’s top official in the casino hub, after Zheng Xiaosong fell from a building on Saturday night.

The death was confirmed in a short statement released on Sunday by the central government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) in Beijing, which said the 59-year-old had “suffered from depression”.

His body was found with no identification on Saturday night outside Edf. Hung On Torre, a private residential building in Macau. But only on Sunday were officers able to confirm his identity as the director of Beijing’s liaison office in the gaming hub – a position he had held since September last year.

No message from Zheng was found during investigations, according to Macau police spokesman Ho Chan-nam.

“After our investigation department followed up on the case, it was confirmed it was not suspicious, nor was there any criminality,” Ho said, adding that an autopsy would be carried out to verify the cause of death.

Prior to joining the liaison office, Zheng was a deputy director at the Communist Party’s International Liaison Department in Beijing.

In the 1990s he was involved in talks between Britain and China on political reform in Hong Kong during the run-up to the city’s transfer of sovereignty in 1997.

Between 1993 and 1996 he was secretary to Jiang Enzhu, a former deputy director of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Head of Chinese government’s liaison office in Macau dies in fall from home

The liaison office in Macau has had five directors since the city’s own handover to China from Portuguese administration in 1999.

The office’s first chief, Wang Qiren, died of cancer in Guangzhou in 2010, reportedly having been ill since the handover.

Li Gang, who took the job in 2014, was removed from his post as deputy head of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the central government’s State Council in 2017, and as a delegate to China’s national legislature, amid investigations into “severe violations of party discipline”.