It’s nec­es­sary to set up a pro­fes­sional law en­force­ment team that bet­ter un­der­stands the laws of the des­ti­na­tions and is pro­fi­cient at speak­ing English and ap­ply­ing the laws.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

the US.

China has signed ex­tra­di­tion treaties with 39 coun­tries and crim­i­nal ju­di­cial as­sis­tance treaties with 52 coun­tries. More­over, it has signed 124 agree­ments or mem­o­ran­dums with 91 coun­tries, re­gions and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has re­sponded to China’s ef­forts through co­op­er­a­tion and ad­dress­ing its con­cerns.

It has been re­ported that dur­ing US Sec­re­tary of Home­land Se­cu­rity Jeh John­son’s visit to China in early April, an agree­ment was reached with China on sim­pli­fy­ing pro­ce­dures for repa­tri­at­ing cor­rupt Chi­nese of­fi­cials hid­ing in the US.

Aus­tralian po­lice said in Oc­to­ber they would help Bei­jing find and seize the as­sets of cor­rupt Chi­nese of­fi­cials, me­dia re­ports said. Reuters re­ported that though a 2007 Franco-Chi­nese ex­tra­di­tion treaty has still not been rat­i­fied by French law­mak­ers, the pos­si­bil­ity of re­turn­ing sus­pects to China was “not at all ex­cluded” if China meets French de­mands and agrees not to im­pose the death penalty.

Dur­ing the Asia- Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion meet­ing in Bei­jing in Novem­ber, APEC mem­bers, in­clud­ing the US, Canada and Australia, de­cided to set up a re­gional law en­force­ment co­op­er­a­tion net­work known as Act-Net to snare cor­rupt of­fi­cials.

Xu Yao­tong, a pro­fes­sor at the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance, said China’s ac­tions abroad face hur­dles, in­clud­ing dif­fer­ent legal sys­tems, dif­fi­culty of ev­i­dence col­lec­tion and high en­force­ment cost. In July, when a Chi­nese sus­pected of il­le­gal fundrais­ing showed up in a casino in Uganda, Chi­nese law en­force­ment agents couldn’t ar­rest him with­out per­mis­sion of lo­cal po­lice, but it was Satur­day and lo­cal po­lice were not work­ing.

Meng Jin, one of the Chi­nese po­lice, later told me­dia that he and his col­league stayed with the sus­pect but they had to wait un­til the fol­low­ing Mon­day to ar­rest him.

“We felt like we were sit­ting on a roller coaster,” he re­called. Chi­nese me­dia re­ported that Chi­nese po­lice rented a pri­vate jet to bring a sus­pected crim­i­nal back from Fiji in 2003.

“It’s nec­es­sary to set up a pro­fes­sional law en­force­ment team that bet­ter un­der­stands the laws of the des­ti­na­tions and is pro­fi­cient at speak­ing English and ap­ply­ing the laws,” said Liu Dong, deputy direc­tor of the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity's eco­nomic crimes in­ves­ti­ga­tion bureau.

How­ever, the ma­jor con­cern re­mains that China has not yet signed an ex­tra­di­tion treaty with the pri­mary des­ti­na­tions for sus­pects, in­clud­ing the US and Canada, which are the top two des­ti­na­tions for Chi­nese fugi­tives.

The US is the No 1 des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese fugi­tives, ac­cord­ing to the CCDI, with 40 of the 100 most wanted. Canada is sec­ond with 26 Chi­nese fugi­tives, and then New Zealand with 11. In the past decade, only two Chi­nese fugi­tives have been brought back from the US to stand trial, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity of China. It took 12 years for China to ne­go­ti­ate with Canada to repa­tri­ate Lai Changx­ing, the king­pin of a large-scale smug­gling ring in Southeast China’s Fu­jian prov­ince.

China’s use of death the penalty for eco­nomic crim­i­nals, though largely re­duced af­ter the Supreme Court took back from pro­vin­cial courts the right to ap­prove death penalty cases, is still the big­gest con­cern in ex­tra­di­tion treaties.

The ar­gu­ment over abol­ish­ing or main­tain­ing the death penalty for fi­nan­cial crimes has been con­tin­u­ing in Chi­nese so­ci­ety.

Legal ex­perts say China would even­tu­ally abol­ish the death penalty for eco­nomic crimes; how­ever, many con­sider that un­re­al­is­tic for Chi­nese so­ci­ety as long as abuse of power is con­nected with graft that harms so­cial jus­tice and leads to the public’s ha­tred of cor­rupt of­fi­cials.

An on­line sur­vey in Novem­ber in China showed over­whelm­ing sup­port for the death penalty in cor­rup­tion cases. It held that 73.2 per­cent of 2,105 re­spon­dents think that the death sen­tence should con­tinue to be ap­plied in graft cases.

Wang Yukai, a pro­fes­sor of law at the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance, pointed out that Chi­nese peo­ple’s at­ti­tudes to­ward the death penalty for cor­rupt of­fi­cials are linked to China’s an­ti­cor­rup­tion cam­paign. “Cor­rup­tion leads to se­ri­ous so­cial ten­sions in Chi­nese so­ci­ety. It is not only an eco­nomic is­sue but also a po­lit­i­cal is­sue in China,” he said.

China is also tak­ing steps to pre­vent cor­rup­tion sus­pects from es­cap­ing abroad. Huang Shux­ian, vice-sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, said CCDI will es­tab­lish a sys­tem of statis­tics and re­ports about cor­rupt of­fi­cials who have fled abroad

Zhang Huide, a pro­fes­sor at Peo­ple’s Public Se­cu­rity Uni­ver­sity of China, said it is nec­es­sary to en­hance the man­age­ment of pass­ports of public ser­vants and to pro­mote the use of bi­o­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy to pre­vent travel with fake pass­ports and other bo­gus doc­u­ments.

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