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China Top Official in Macau Dies in Fall From Building

FILE - Zheng Xiaosong, the head of China's liaison office in Macau, was secretary of the Fujian Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, April 23, 2016.

China’s top representative to Macau died late Saturday after falling from the building where he lived, the Chinese government said Sunday.

Zheng Xiaosong, the head of China’s liaison office to Macau, had been suffering from depression, the Hong Kong and Macau Office of the Chinese government’s State Council said in a statement. The statement did not elaborate further on the circumstances of his death.

Zheng, 59, was appointed to the Macau post in September 2017 and is a member of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee, the largest of China’s elite ruling bodies.

Like neighboring Hong Kong, Macau operates under China’s “one country, two systems” policy and is ruled by a chief executive, who is chosen via an election but must get approval from Beijing to formally take office.

The liaison office in Macau serves as a bridge between the local government and Beijing and has become increasingly influential in local affairs.