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China says gets another graft suspect back from U.S.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Another Chinese corruption suspect who had fled to the United States has given herself up and returned home, the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog said on Friday, in a further victory for China’s overseas hunt for fugitive officials.

Wang Chengjian, a former shipping finance executive in Shanghai, fled to the United States in May 2005 and had been listed as number 67 on a list issued in 2015 of 100 of China’s most wanted corruption suspects who had been targeted with an Interpol red notice.

She was the 38th person on the list China had managed to get back, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a brief statement on its website.

Wang was suspected of corruption and gave herself up, the commission said, without giving details.

It was not immediately possible to reach Wang or a legal or family representative for comment.

China claimed a major victory last year when China’s most-wanted corruption suspect returned to China from the United States after 13 years in hiding overseas.

China has pursued an overseas search dubbed Operation Fox Hunt for corrupt officials and business executives who have fled abroad with their assets, part of President Xi Jinping’s war on deep-seated corruption.

It has been pushing for extradition treaties but Western countries have been reluctant to help, not wanting to send people back to a country where rights groups say mistreatment of suspects is a concern.

China has upset Western countries by sending undercover agents to try to get suspects back, though it says it has changed tactics after complaints.

The United States would not tolerate any pressure from the Chinese government on family members of fugitives to get them to return from America, but could not guarantee it had not happened, a U.S. official said in Beijing in November.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie