With scores of corrupt officials fleeing to the United States,
Canada and Australia, China needs to pace up negotiations with
those countries to conclude extradition treaties, officials have
"Besides, a number of officials have fled to European countries
such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands," Gao
Yuntao, deputy head of the international cooperation bureau of the
Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), told China
The country has so far signed extradition agreements with 29
nations but only three - Spain, Portugal and France - are developed
Though Beijing has promised that no extradited person will be
executed, some countries are hesitant about signing pacts because
there is a provision for the death penalty in the statute
This excuse has most strikingly been used in the case of alleged
smuggling boss Lai Changxing, who is accused of masterminding a
billion-dollar smuggling ring in Fujian Province before fleeing to
Canada in 1999.
Gao and Ni Shouming, spokesman for the Supreme People's Court,
reiterated that Lai would not be executed, emphasizing that it is a
matter of international credibility.
Although some developed countries have not signed extradition
treaties, suspected criminals have been sent back for a long time,
such as the transfer from Japan in May of Yuan Tongshu, the former
general manager of a State-owned enterprise in Liaoning
Of all countries, the most progress in extradition treaty talks
has been with Japan, Gao said.
Since 2000, China has managed to get more than 10 suspects back
"The number of corrupt officials fleeing abroad has been
gradually decreasing in recent years and will decline sharply with
more international cooperation, especially with the implementation
of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)," Gao
China is a strong supporter of the UNCAC, which came into effect
in the country last December.
Also, last year, the International Association of
Anti-Corruption Authorities was founded in Beijing, with SPP
Procuratorate General Jia Chunwang elected as president.
To date more than 100 anti-corruption organs and 800 individuals
internationally have become members of the association.
"The organization is expected to be a key platform for us to
make substantive progress in anti-corruption battles and to
extradite more suspects," said SPP spokesman Tong Jianming.
Last week, Wang Liming, deputy head of the SPP anti-corruption
bureau, said more than 200 corrupt officials accused of embezzling
billions of yuan were at large abroad.
(China Daily September 26, 2007)