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More Extradition Treaties Solicited
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Discard political bias and ideological differences to sign extradition treaties with China and help bring criminals to justice, Western nations have been urged.

"We are trying hard to negotiate with developed countries to conclude bilateral extradition treaties," Duan Jielong, director general of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, told China Daily.

He admitted that some countries - which have abolished the death penalty and do not allow extradition to nations where it is applied, are hesitant about signing pacts with China, where the penalty has been a longstanding integral part of the criminal justice system.

"But cooperation has significantly improved since China concluded the extradition treaty with Spain," Duan said.

In March, France became the third developed country after Spain and Portugal to sign an extradition treaty. Under the agreement, no extradited person will be executed.

China started to sign such treaties in the 1990s, and has reached pacts with 29 nations.

Zhang Yong, director of the Law Research Institute of Nankai University, said it was a "great compromise" for the country to promise that the death penalty will not be applied to repatriated suspects - mostly those who have fled after embezzling or misusing public money.

"China is one of the strongest supporters of the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention," Zhang told China Daily. "Such a judicial concession is a practical step to actively shoulder its obligation to stamping down transnational corruption."

Besides, the country has also played an active part in anti-terrorism extradition treaties and fulfilled its treaty obligations.

Though some countries do not have an extradition treaty with China, a few criminal suspects have been sent home.

This includes the transfer earlier this month of Yuan Tongshun, the former general manager of a State-owned enterprise in Liaoning.

Yuan is accused of embezzling a large amount of public money from September 2003 to March 2004. It was the first time Japan has handed over a Chinese national suspected of corruption.

Sources at the Ministry of Public Security said around 800 suspects of the country wanted for economic crimes are at large abroad.

(China Daily May 28, 2007)

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