Top Chinese Nuclear Scientist Commits Suicide

According to many accounts, a China-based nuclear power expert and high-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official committed suicide. The reasons for this suicide are unclear and happened in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China.

It would unwise to speculate the reasons; however, should his passing be indeed suicide or something more sinister, this will have a huge impact on China’s nuclear capabilities.

The Circumstances of his Death

According to an official notification provided by his workplace, Zhang Zhijian, a 58-year-old professor of nuclear power at Harbin Engineering University (HEU), leaped off an office building and killed himself on June 17.

Local police claimed they eliminated the possibility of homicide after analyzing the scene, according to the release. It did not, though, indicate any plausible causes of death.

Prior to his death, Zhang held two prominent positions at the school: deputy principal and member of the CCP standing committee.

Zhang Was High Up in the Ranks

Zhang carried out a number of significant clinical and professional positions in his field, such as head of both the HEU’s College of Nuclear Science and Technology and the Nuclear Power Simulation Research Center (NPSRC); he also oversaw another of China’s important global defensive system labs, commander of the Office of Development and Planning, and worked as chief executive of the Chinese Nuclear Society, according to public records.

The HEU is an academy with significant relations with the Chinese defense forces.

This was the forerunner of the People’s Liberation Army Military Institute of Engineering, which was established in 1953 with technical assistance from the former Soviet Union.

It is currently part of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which was the predecessor to China’s National Defense Commission for Science, Innovations, and Industries.

The HEU is also approved by the United States Department of Commerce. On May 23, 2020, it was added to the Entity List for its participation in military operations and the development of weapons of mass destruction. To acquire US technology, organizations on the list will need a license from the Department of Commerce.

Suicides among CCP Officials Reported for Months

According to Chinese official media, Li Xiaoqiu (deputy head of the Inner Mongolia region’s Culture and Tourism Department) hanged himself in a library in Hohhot city, the region’s capital, on May 17.

He was another participant in the Party Leadership Group for the area. He left a note before his suicide, but the contents have not been revealed by local police.

According to local authorities, Gao Guoliang, deputy director of the Yanshi Public Security Bureau in Luoyang city, central China’s Henan province, committed suicide at his office on May 13, purportedly “in an extreme manner.” They didn’t say how they were going to do it.

On April 30, Ma Hui, the director of the Heping District Public Security Bureau’s command center, committed suicide by jumping from the 27-story Seton Center.