G20 will co­op­er­ate in bat­tle to fight graft

Mem­bers agree to ad­vance cam­paign, close doors to cor­rupt fugi­tive of­fi­cials

China Daily (USA) - - G20 2016 CHINA - By ZHANG YANin Beijing and CAO YIN in Hangzhou Con­tact the writ­ers at zhangyan1 @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Mem­bers of the G20 have agreed to ad­vance the an­ti­cor­rup­tion cam­paign and refuse to of­fer “safe havens” for cor­rupt of­fi­cials who re­main at large in for­eign coun­tries.

Speak­ing to jour­nal­ists at the end of the two-day G20 Lead­ers Sum­mit in the lake­side city of Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping saidim­por­tant break­throughshave­been­made­this year in the fight against graft with fugi­tive repa­tri­a­tions and re­cov­ery of as­sets.

G20mem­ber­shavede­cided to set up an anti-cor­rup­tion re­search cen­ter in Beijing to pro­vide in­tel­li­gence sup­port for cap­tur­ing fugi­tives and re­cov­er­ing their il­le­gal as­sets. The sum­mit also passed the G20 2017-18 Anti-Cor­rup­tion Ac­tion Plan, Xi said.

“These anti-graft achieve­ments will leave cor­rupt of­fi­cials no place to hide in G20 mem­bers’ ter­ri­to­ries and in the world at large,” Xi said.

In re­cent years, many G20 economies, in­clud­ing the United States and Canada, have be­come pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for fugi­tive cor­rupt of­fi­cials due to the lack of signed bi­lat­eral ex­tra­di­tion treaties and le­gal dif­fer­ences, ac­cord­ing to China’s Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity.

Many cor­rupt of­fi­cials have trans­ferred bil­lions of yuan in ill-got­ten as­sets to for­eign ac­counts ei­ther through money-laun­der­ing and un­der­ground banks, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

The anti-graft achieve­ments are aimed at cre­at­ing “a zero-tol­er­ance, zero-loop­hole and zero-ob­sta­cle an­ti­cor­rup­tion in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism to fight cor­rupt sus­pects and con­fis­cate their il­le­gal pro­ceeds,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment­pro­vided by the na­tion’s top cor­rup­tion watch­dog, the Com­mu­nist Party of China’s Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the CCDI, the ad­vanced anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign cov­ers a range of im­por­tant is­sues, in­clud­ing re­fus­ing fugi­tives en­try into their des­ti­na­tion coun­tries, set­ting up in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­ce­dures for in­di­vid­ual cases and im­prov­ing co­op­er­a­tive le­gal frame­works, which will “clearly re­quire the coun­tries con­cerned to pro­vide fa­vor­able con­di­tions for catch­ing fugi­tives.”

Gao Bo, a re­searcher at the

These anti-graft achieve­ments will leave cor­rupt of­fi­cials no place to hide ... in the world at large.”

po­lit­i­cal Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping Academy of So­cial Sciences, said the anti-graft con­sen­sus reached at the G20 Sum­mit will estab­lish “a win-win sit­u­a­tion among the G20 economies, re­flect more con­cerns from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries’, and make a po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment to strengthen in­ter­na­tional anti-graft co­op­er­a­tion”.

Huang Feng, an in­ter­na­tional crim­i­nal law pro­fes­sor at Beijing Nor­mal Uni­ver­sity, said that these achieve­ments will en­able G20 economies to “put aside po­lit­i­cal and leg­isla­tive dif­fer­ences to look for com­mon in­ter­ests, while es­tab­lish­ing a co­op­er­a­tive mech­a­nism on in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion, rapid repa­tri­a­tion, ca­pa­bil­ity build­ing and as­sets re­cov­ery.”

Wang Jun­lin, a se­nior lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in in­ter­na­tional com­merce and busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion who at­tended the Busi­ness 20 Sum­mit in­Hangzhou on Satur­day, said he ex­pected more such in­ter­na­tional anti-graft agree­ments to be put into prac­tice.

“When our co­op­er­a­tion in this area de­vel­ops well, I think G20 mem­bers will bet­ter un­der­stand one an­other, which is con­ducive to fur­ther in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal work.”

To cap­ture eco­nomic fugi­tives, China set up in 2014 the Cen­tral Anti-Cor­rup­tion Co­or­di­na­tion Group, led by the CCDI, and launched spe­cial cam­paigns — in­clud­ing SkyNet — to hunt for eco­nomic fugi­tives and con­fis­cate their il­le­gal pro­ceeds.

Since 2014, 2,020 eco­nomic fugi­tives, in­clud­ing 342 cor­rupt of­fi­cials, have been brought back to China from more than 70 coun­tries and re­gions to face trial. Mean­while, 7.62 bil­lion yuan ($1.14 bil­lion) in il­le­gal funds had been seized, ac­cord­ing to the CCDI.

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