China’s top representative in Macau has fallen to his death from the building where he lived, authorities said Sunday.

Zheng Xiaosong, 59, the Chinese government’s liaison officer in the semi-autonomous former Portuguese colony, had been suffering from depression, Beijing said in a statement.

Zheng “fell to his death from his Macau residence on the evening of October 20, 2018 due to depression”, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council said.

Zheng Xiaosong, director general of China’s ministry of finance gestures at a forum on the global financial crisis being held at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila on January 14, 2010. File photo: Jay Directo/AFP.

The statement gave no more details but the wording suggested Zheng had killed himself.

Mainland officials were to travel to Macau on Sunday to express their “condolences to comrade Zheng Xiaosong’s family” on behalf of the Chinese government, it added.

The director of Macau’s judiciary police said they were investigating Zheng’s death, Hong Kong media reported.

Chinese and Macau flag raising ceremony in Macau. Photo: Macau Government.

Zheng, a member of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee, was reportedly involved in talks between London and Beijing ahead of the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.

He took up the post in the gambling enclave of Macau last year. The territory operates under the same “One Country, Two Systems” principle that governs Hong Kong.

”Carrie Lam’s statement in full – click to read”

“I knew Mr Zheng who was working in Fujian Province while I was the Chief Secretary for Administration and together with him, promoted the co-operation between Hong Kong and Fujian, including co-chairing the first Hong Kong/Fujian Co-operation Conference in 2015, laying a solid foundation for further exchanges between the two places. He had worked in Hong Kong earlier and was familiar with Hong Kong and concerned about the development of the city. I was grieved to learn of his sudden departure. On behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family,” Mrs Lam said.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said in a statement that she was “grieved to learn of his sudden departure”.

If you are experiencing negative feelings, please call: The Samaritans 2896 0000 (24-hour, multilingual), Suicide Prevention Centre 2382 0000 or the Social Welfare Department 2343 2255. The Hong Kong Society of Counselling and Psychology provides a WhatsApp hotline in English and Chinese: 6218 1084. See also: HKFP’s comprehensive guide to mental health services in Hong Kong


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