Nab­bing fugi­tives pays off in anti-graft fight

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

Sweep­ing vic­tory is the key ex­pres­sion that was used to de­scribe what China has achieved in its anti-graft cam­paign in the past years at the cur­rent third ple­nary ses­sion of the 19th CPC Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion in Bei­jing. This in­cludes all-out ef­forts to hunt those cor­rupt el­e­ments seek­ing shel­ter in a for­eign land, in which other coun­tries have con­trib­uted to the suc­cess.

On Aug 23, 2018, the Na­tional Su­per­vi­sion Com­mis­sion, the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court, the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate, and the min­istries of for­eign af­fairs and pub­lic se­cu­rity, jointly re­leased a no­tice urg­ing those cor­rupt fugi­tives over­seas to hand them­selves in. In the five months un­til the end of 2018, 441 such fugi­tives from 46 coun­tries and re­gions had been brought back, and among them, 165 sur­ren­dered them­selves. Some of them were on the In­ter­pol Red No­tice list.

If cor­rupt el­e­ments were able to lead a peace­ful life in a for­eign land, it would ob­vi­ously set an ex­am­ple en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to seek ill­got­ten gains by abus­ing their power. Whether the ac­tions China takes to hunt them down suc­ceed is there­fore of great im­por­tance to the coun­try’s cam­paign against cor­rup­tion.

In the past years, China has launched its Sky Net Ac­tion and Op­er­a­tion Fox Hunt to hunt down cor­rupt el­e­ments who have fled to for­eign coun­tries with their il­le­gal as­sets. From 2014 to the end of 2018, China has al­ready brought back more than 5,000 cor­rupt el­e­ments from 120 coun­tries and re­gions, and among them 56 are on the In­ter­pol Red No­tice list.

These ef­forts aim to fi­nally make of­fi­cials not dare to, un­able to and have no de­sire to com­mit any il­le­gal act. It goes with­out say­ing that the aim could never be ful­filled un­less their last re­treat — seek­ing a shel­ter in a for­eign coun­try — is blocked. So there is no rea­son why any coun­try should turn down China’s re­quest to hand over an eco­nomic crim­i­nal sus­pect hid­ing there.

Now a five-part TV doc­u­men­tary is be­ing aired on China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion, which tells how some well-known cor­rupt fugi­tives on the In­ter­pol Red No­tice list were brought back home to face trial for the crimes they’ve com­mit­ted.

Five years ago at the third ple­nary ses­sion of the 18th CPC Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, who is also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said that wher­ever the cor­rupt fugi­tives have fled, they will be brought back to face trial, and any for­eign coun­try should never be­come a safe haven for China’s cor­rupt el­e­ments.

The doc­u­men­tary shows how these ef­forts are pay­ing off.

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