Suicide by jumping from tall buildings in Shanghai became so commonplace…

Suicide by jumping from tall buildings in Shanghai became so commonplace in the immediate aftermath of the Communist takeover in China that residents avoided walking on pavements near skyscrapers for fear that bodies might land on them. Driving perceived enemies to suicide was a common tactic during the Mao era. In his biography of Mao, Philip Short notes that in Mao gave explicit instructions that “no cadre is to be killed,” but in practice allowed security chief Kang Sheng to drive opponents to suicide and that “this pattern was repeated throughout his leadership of the People’s Republic.”

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