Sino-US co­op­er­a­tion can help anti-graft drive

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO -

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has said it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of all coun­tries to main­tain the world or­der and in­ter­na­tional sys­tem with the UN Char­ter at its core, and pro­mote new­type of win-win in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions. And since China and the US both are per­ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, they are obliged to es­tab­lish and de­velop bi­lat­eral le­gal co­op­er­a­tion to fight cor­rup­tion based on the UN Char­ter.

China and theUS have their own tra­di­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences of the rule of law. So the global fight against cor­rup­tion should be based on in­ter­na­tional law, which re­spects the sovereignty of China and the US both. The two sides also have to help es­tab­lish the global le­gal prin­ci­ples and mea­sures that yield mu­tual ben­e­fit and pro­mote Sino-US co­op­er­a­tion.

The UN be­gan pro­mot­ing in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion to com­bat cor­rup­tion in the 1970s. The UNCon­ven­tion against Cor­rup­tion is­sued in 2003 es­tab­lished the prin­ci­ples, rules and reg­u­la­tions for global le­gal co­op­er­a­tion against cor­rup­tion, which should also be the ba­sis of Sino-US le­gal co­op­er­a­tion to fight cor­rup­tion.

The UN Con­ven­tion stip­u­lates the obli­ga­tions the mem­ber states must ful­fill. All the con­tract­ing par­ties, in­clud­ing China and the US, should com­ply with these in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions. In terms of global co­op­er­a­tion against cor­rup­tion, Bei­jing andWash­ing­ton should abide by the Con­ven­tion and work out more spe­cific mea­sures that suit the ac­tual sit­u­a­tions of both sides through ne­go­ti­a­tion.

The Con­ven­tion spells out many mea­sures to ef­fec­tively crack down on cor­rup­tion. Ar­ti­cle 51 of the Con­ven­tion stip­u­lates the mea­sures for the re­turn of as­sets, and Ar­ti­cle 26 stip­u­lates the li­a­bil­ity of le­gal per­sons. To ef­fec­tively im­ple­ment these mea­sures, there should be a sys­temic guar­an­tee.

Ar­ti­cle 65 ex­plains the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Con­ven­tion: Each state party shall take nec­es­sary mea­sures, in­clud­ing leg­isla­tive and ad­min­is­tra­tive mea­sures, in ac­cor­dance with the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of its do­mes­tic laws, to en­sure the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its obli­ga­tions un­der this Con­ven­tion.

Another im­por­tant im­ple­men­ta­tion mech­a­nism of this Con­ven­tion is the Con­fer­ence of the State Par­ties to the Con­ven­tion stip­u­lated by Ar­ti­cle 63, and es­tab­lished to im­prove the ca­pac­ity of and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween State Par­ties to achieve the ob­jec­tives set forth in this Con­ven­tion and to pro­mote and re­viewits im­ple­men­ta­tion.

In the first Con­fer­ence of the State Par­ties to the Con­ven­tion, the con­tract­ing states dis­cussed the is­sue of re­turn of as­sets. Ev­ery party re­al­ized the in­ter­na­tional anti-cor­rup­tion co­op­er­a­tion based on the Con­ven­tion is com­pli­cated. It is very dif­fi­cult to chase and re­turn as­sets il­le­gally trans­ferred to for­eign coun­tries, which many a time re­sults in fric­tions among states. The Con­fer­ence cites the ex­am­ple of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment to il­lus­trate how to over­come this spe­cial dif­fi­culty.

To pro­pel global co­op­er­a­tion against cor­rup­tion, the UN has launched sev­eral con­fer­ences and passed sev­eral res­o­lu­tions. The latest res­o­lu­tion is the UN A/ RES/69/199 Res­o­lu­tion passed by the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly on Dec 18, 2014. The res­o­lu­tion stresses that “those who en­gage in cor­rupt prac­tices, whether nat­u­ral or le­gal per­sons, con­sis­tent with do­mes­tic law and the re­quire­ments of the Con­ven­tion, should be held ac­count­able and pros­e­cuted by their do­mes­tic author­i­ties, and that all ap­pro­pri­ate ef­forts should be made to con­duct a fi­nan­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into as­sets il­le­gally ac­quired by them and to re­cover such as­sets through do­mes­tic con­fis­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings, in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion for pur­poses of con­fis­ca­tion or ap­pro­pri­ate di­rect re­cov­ery mea­sures”.

The res­o­lu­tion also says: “State par­ties to the Con­ven­tion shall give timely con­sid­er­a­tion to mu­tual le­gal as­sis­tance re­quests re­lat­ing to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, freez­ing, trac­ing and/or re­cov­ery of pro­ceeds of cor­rup­tion and to re­spond ef­fec­tively to re­quests”.

These are the broad ar­eas in which China and the US can co­op­er­ate to com­bat cor­rup­tion.

It’s high time, there­fore, that China and the US in­creased the num­ber and widened the scope of di­a­logues to com­bat cor­rup­tion on the global level, and deep­ened their co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism in ac­cor­dance with the Con­ven­tion, be­cause these would be to their mu­tual ben­e­fit

The au­thor is a pro­fes­sor of law at Ren­min Univer­sity of China.

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