| BEIJING, July 28
BEIJING, July 28 The United States is
cooperating with China to repatriate Chinese fugitives facing
corruption charges, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, a
move that could pave the way for the return of hundreds of
government officials wanted for graft.
U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel Cameron Kerry,
in Beijing on a five-day visit focused on anti-corruption and
commercial rule of law issues, said that "there's good
cooperation" between Chinese and U.S. prosecutors "in finding
ways to repatriate corrupt officials or ill-gotten assets".
"Our prosecutors on both sides yesterday discussed a number
of specific cases and they look forward to increasing
cooperation on those cases," Kerry told reporters at a briefing.
Some of these cases include U.S. investigations into alleged
bribes paid to Chinese officials by companies from the United
States or registered in the United States, under the Federal
Corrupt Practices Act, he added.
He declined to be more specific and said he was not in a
position to comment on whether the United States was close to
"The United States currently does not have an extradition
treaty with China, but there are other mechanisms available to
pursue fugitives," Kerry said.
"Most fugitives from justice immigrated to the United States
illegally, many of them have been repatriated through our
immigration laws, and deportation, under those laws."
Beijing's lack of extradition treaties and other countries'
misgivings about its widespread use of the death penalty have
allowed corrupt officials to escape Chinese dragnets, creating a
problem of capital flight for the world's second-largest
Last weekend, China arrested its most wanted fugitive, Lai
Changxing, in Beijing after Canada deported him to end a
decades-long saga that had plagued Sino-Canadian relations, but
concerns remained among activists about whether he would receive
a fair trial. .
The cooperation between Chinese and U.S. prosecutors started
in 2007, Kerry said, adding that there's been an "increased
energy on the Chinese side" over the past two years that he's
been involved in the discussions.
Police statistics in 2010 showed that there were nearly 600
Chinese suspects at large overseas, who are wanted for economic
crimes, mostly corruption, according to the official Xinhua news
Most of the fugitives had fled to North America or Southeast
Asia, the China Daily reported last December, citing Meng
Qingfeng, head of the economic crime investigation department
under the ministry of public security.
In 2006, Yu Zhendong, a former Bank of China manager
convicted in the United States before being deported on
corruption charges at home, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
China had promised he would not be tortured or executed.
(Additional reporting by Sally Huang, editing by Miral Fahmy)