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China Vows to Deepen Int'l Co-op in Anti-corruption
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One of China's top anti-corruption officials on Monday urged governmental departments to work more closely with other countries to fight corruption.

Wu Guanzheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, speaking at a meeting for implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption said, "Government departments should narrow the gap between the UN convention and domestic laws and strengthen international cooperation."

China became a member of the United Nations (UN) Convention against Corruption after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) ratified the convention on Oct. 27, 2005.

"We should improve cooperation in law enforcement, judicial assistance, criminal suspect repatriation and the return of illicit money with the help of other members of the convention," said Wu.

China will also make joint efforts with other members of the convention to prevent corruption and curb commercial bribery.

He said the country will fast track negotiations with other countries to conclude new treaties on extradition and judicial assistance.

He said China will learn from other countries' anti-corruption experiences and further improve the effectiveness of its own anti-corruption efforts.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, together with more than 20 Party and governmental departments held a meeting here on Monday on the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption.

China's anti-corruption and international law experts on Tuesday said China's ratification and implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption demonstrated China is open to learn international anti-corruption experiences.

Liu Wenzong, professor of the China Foreign Affairs University, said China is trying to close the gap between the convention and its domestic laws. He said China is living up to the requirements of the convention.

Chu Huaizhi, professor of Peking University said prevention is the most important work in the anti-corruption drive, according to the international anti-corruption experiences.

The UN Convention Against Corruption includes more than 10 clauses on corruption prevention, which the Chinese government has adopted. It has put corruption prevention and punishment on an equal footing in the fight against corruption, said Chu.

He said the convention demands equal punishment for people who give and take bribes.

"In the past, China has given the most severe punishment to those who receive bribes and sometimes ignored those who offered them. China is speeding up legislation and law enforcement in this field, after the ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption."

The UN anti-corruption convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in October 31, 2003. Its 71 clauses details the prevention, criminalization, international cooperation, asset recovery and implementation mechanism in the fight against transnational crimes of corruption.

China signed the document in December 2003. Thirty countries have ratified the convention, which went into effect on December 14, 2005.

China has been active in seeking international cooperation in it fight again corruption. Chinese prosecutors have brought some 70 criminal suspects back to China from foreign countries since 1998.

The successful extradition from the United States of a local branch head of the Bank of China in Guangdong Province in 2004 was lauded as a powerful deterrent to corruption. Yu Zhendong, the banker, was convicted of misappropriating 483 million U.S. dollars before fleeing to the United States.

Sources from the Ministry of Public Security said there are 800 suspects wanted for economic crimes at large in foreign countries. They are accused of embezzling nearly 70 billion yuan (US$875 million).

(Xinhua News Agency June 14, 2006)

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