The head of the Chinese central government’s liaison office in Macau has died in a fall from his home, Beijing authorities said on Sunday morning Oct.20, 2018.
Zheng Xiaosong had been “suffering from depression”, according to a statement issued by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), which is based in Beijing.
The 59-year-old took up the post of director last year.
In a brief press release, the Beijing office said Zheng “died on Saturday from a fall from his Macau residence … because he suffered from depression”.
“Leaders of the central government have entrusted comrades from the organisation department and the HKMAO to travel to Macau and send condolences to Zheng’s family,” the press release said.
No further details were given on Zheng’s condition before his death.
According to the liaison office in Macau, Zheng had been on duty the day before his death. He had met representatives of a think tank in Macau at his office.
He was the vice governor of the southeastern coastal province of Fujian from July 2013 to April 2016.
Zheng was involved in talks in the 1990s between Britain and China on political reform in Hong Kong in the run-up to the 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.
He served as the liaison between the Chinese government and the casino hub of Macau, a former Portuguese colony.
There is no evidence that Mr Zheng had come under the watch of China’s pervasive anti-corruption campaign.
However, hundreds of mid-level Chinese officials who had been accused of graft have died in recent years – reportedly by killing themselves, though observers have questioned these accounts.
A statement on the Macau liaison’s office website showed that Zheng met with the head of a think tank the day before his death, Reuters reported.