China and US agree to cooperate to help China track down & repatriate “economic fugitives”

By Christine Duhaime | April 13th, 2015

Late last week, at a meeting in Beijing, the US and China agreed to continue cooperating in the removal of Chinese foreign nationals from the US who are suspected of having immigrated with proceeds of corruption. The meeting took place between Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission, and national police chief Guo Shengkun, and US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

Both countries affirmed a commitment to work closely with law enforcement agencies to improve information sharing on repatriation and economic fugitives and provide status updates on active fugitive cases.  China said it was working expeditiously to verify names of its foreign nationals who immigrated to other countries “illegally” to  facilitate their return.

Interestingly, press reports said that both countries are looking at databases to identify Chinese foreign nationals that book travel and request travel documents from other countries. China’s anti-corruption agency said that more than 500 so-called fugatives were brought back to China last year, along with more than RMB 3 billion.

According to the media in Asia, there are two operations called “Sky Net” and “Operation Fox Hunt” pursuant to which China is seeking to have returned its foreign nationals who it believes have left the country with proceeds of crime and/or corruption. During the Beijing talks, the US affirmed it would not provide a safe haven to Chinese foreign nationals suspected of entering the US with proceeds of crime.

The talks also touched on counter-terrorism, intellectual property rights, maritime law enforcement and cyber-security.

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