In this study, demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals with schizophrenia in a Chinese rural community who had attempted suicide at some time in their lives and those who had not made a suicide attempt were compared. Among individuals with schizophrenia, subjects with (n = 38) and without (n = 472) a lifetime history of suicide attempt were assessed with the Present State Examination. The results indicate that attempters had a significantly younger age, higher level of education, higher rate of lifetime depressed mood and hopelessness, and a larger number of positive symptoms than patients without suicide attempts. The logistic regression models also indicated that hopelessness, the number of positive symptoms and age were the most important predictors. Early interventions focusing on reducing hopelessness and controlling positive symptoms may help reduce the risk of suicide attempts among patients with schizophrenia.