Word of the Week: Half-Hearted Suicide

Editor’s Note: The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.  If you are interested in participating in this project by submitting and/or translating terms, please contact the CDT editors at CDT [at] chinadigitaltimes [dot] net.

试探性自杀 (shìtànxìng zìshā): half-hearted suicide attempt

Graphic showing the locations of Mr. Xie’s stab wounds.

Graphic showing the locations of Mr. Xie’s stab wounds.

On August 27, 2011, the body of Xie Yexin (谢业新) was found in his office with 11 stab wounds. Mr. Xie was a government official in Hubei Province and a member of the disciplinary committee. The month before his death he had investigated the local deputy secretary for corruption. The official cause of his death was ruled suicide, the explanation being that the initial stab wounds were “half-hearted suicide attempts,” followed by a final successful attempt. Netizens and Mr. Xie’s family were deeply skeptical of this official account.