China, ASEAN to bring cor­rupt of­fi­cials to jus­tice

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YAN in Yuxi, Yun­nan zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and ASEAN coun­tries will set up a re­gional anti-cor­rup­tion le­gal frame­work to fa­cil­i­tate the re­turn of cor­rupt Chi­nese of­fi­cials who are still at large in ASEAN coun­tries and con­fis­cate their ill-got­ten as­sets, a se­nior anti-graft of­fi­cial said.

China is in ad­vanced ne­go­ti­a­tions with some ASEAN coun­tries, in­clud­ing Thai­land and Laos, to sign bi­lat­eral anti-cor­rup­tion agree­ments. Mean­while, China in­tends to start dis­cus­sions with ASEAN coun­tries to sign bi­lat­eral ex­tra­di­tion treaties to bring more fugitives back to face trial, said Liu Jian­chao, direc­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Bureau un­der the CPC Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion.

At present, China has signed bi­lat­eral anti-cor­rup­tion agree­ments with four ASEAN coun­tries and has signed ex­tra­di­tion treaties with six ASEAN mem­bers, ac­cord­ing to the CCDI.

“Such a re­gional anti-cor­rup­tion mech­a­nism will pro­vide us a le­gal ba­sis to en­hance ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion with ASEAN coun­tries in fight­ing cross-bor­der cor­rup­tion and im­prov­ing work­ing ef­fi­ciency,” Liu said on the sidelines of the China-ASEAN Anti-Cor­rup­tion Work­shop held from Wed­nes­day to Fri­day in Yuxi, Yun­nan prov­ince.

It’s the first time China and ASEAN coun­tries have held such a high-rank­ing meet­ing on anti-graft co­op­er­a­tion.

Yang Xiaochao, sec­re­tarygen­eral of the CCDI, said China and ASEAN coun­tries will fo­cus on prac­ti­cal ac­tions to ex­tend ap­proaches for anti-cor­rup­tion co­op­er­a­tion. They will fur­ther strengthen co­op­er­a­tion on in­tel­li­gence shar­ing, case in­ves­ti­ga­tion, train­ing pro­grams and con­duct­ing joint oper­a­tions, he said.

In re­cent years, many Chi­nese cor­rupt of­fi­cials have fled to South­east Asian coun­tries to avoid le­gal pun­ish­ment due to con­ve­nient travel routes and easy visa ap­pli­ca­tion pro­ce­dures.

Mean­while, they have il­le­gally sent mil­lions of yuan in il­le­gal as­sets to for­eign ac­counts through money laun­der­ing and un­der­ground banks.

Since April last year, when In­ter­pol is­sued red no­tices for the ar­rest of 100 ma­jor cor­rupt fugitives, six have re­turned from ASEAN coun­tries to stand trial.

“Cor­rup­tion, as the root cause of many global prob­lems, ham­pers eco­nomic growth, ex­ac­er­bates so­cial in­jus­tice, and de­stroys democ­racy and the rule of law,” Yang said. “We will res­o­lutely crack down on cross­bor­der cor­rup­tion to re­al­ize sus­tain­able re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.”

“Cor­rup­tion has se­ri­ously af­fected eco­nomic pros­per­ity, so­cial sta­bil­ity and gov­ern­ment cred­i­bil­ity. China and ASEAN coun­tries need to work to­gether in erad­i­cat­ing the cor­rup­tion ‘can­cer’ and have sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,” said Martin Kreut­ner, dean of the In­ter­na­tional Anti-Cor­rup­tion Academy.

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