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China Seeks to Curb Transnational Crime

Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo on Friday called on procurators-general in Asian and European countries to strengthen anti-corruption measures by improving transnational cooperation.

Wu made the remarks on the Second World Anti-Corruption Day when addressing the opening ceremony of a three-day international meeting of procurators-general from 43 countries and four international organizations, held in the city of Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province.

The conference, aimed at fighting transnational crime, is the first of its kind under the Asian European Meetings mechanism.

The Standing Committee of China's 10th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, gave its approval for ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption about a month ago, a testimony of the country's strong determination to combat corruption-related crimes. China now has initiated the process of enacting necessary enabling legislation to join the convention.

A total of 33 countries have ratified the convention so far.

Jia Chunwang, prosecutor-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China, said he would like to see more countries join and ratify the convention, to help in "combating, preventing and controlling transnational corruption crimes sooner and better."

According to Jia, a theme discussion entitled "enhance international cooperation to jointly combat corruption" will be held on Saturday.

As the United Nations Convention against Corruption will formally come into force next week, Jia made the pledge in front of some 300 representatives that China would accelerate the development of its legislative and institutional anti-corruption framework, including its actual implementation.

The major obstacles in cracking transnational corruption crimes lie in the lack of efficient financial management and legislation, said Zhang Xuejun, chief of the Guangdong Provincial People's Procuratorate.

Being one of the first regions that implemented the reform and opening-up policy, Guangdong Province is at the frontier of the battle against corruption.

Zhang called for the establishment of an early warning system in foreign currency management to prevent high-ranking officials from fleeing the country with large amounts of money.

China's lawmakers are now working on the Law against Money Laundering, which will help combat transnational corruption crime.

Though the Chinese government has signed extradition treaties with 23 countries, and 71 criminal and civil judiciary assistance treaties with 47 countries, Zhang said, there are no treaties with the Untied States and Canada, the destination for the majority of the criminals.

Throughout last year, the procuratorial organs at all levels in China placed on file for investigation 43,757 state functionaries, among whom 11 were at ministerial levels.

(China Daily December 10, 2005)

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