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China seeks summits on fugitives

中国日报网 2013-01-28 10:46

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The Ministry of Public Security is working to set up an annual high-level meeting with US judicial officials in a bid to catch and return more Chinese fugitives.

Wang Liqiang, a senior official in the ministry's international cooperation bureau, said that the bureau is negotiating with the US Department of Homeland Security and will try to arrange the first summit this year.

The meeting is expected to bring together the minister of public security and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with their US counterparts to discuss cooperation on intelligence, operations, suspect repatriations and the recovery of stolen assets.

An annual roundtable has already been held between the international cooperation bureau, the Foreign Affairs Ministry's legal treaty department and several US agencies, including the Department of Justice.

"This is far from enough, and we urgently need a senior-level platform that can help law enforcement in North America better understand Chinese law and legal procedures, and assist us in fugitive repatriation and asset recovery," Wang said.

With the aim of boosting cooperation, China has been sending police liaison officers abroad since 1998. Today, the country has 80 officers stationed at 24 Chinese embassies in 23 countries and regions, including the US, Canada, Russia, France and Japan.

However, Wang Zhigang, who held a post as a police liaison officer in the US from 2004 to 2008, said legal differences, as well as complex and lengthy procedures, remain the biggest hurdles to finding and returning Chinese fugitives from North America.

During his time, he said more than 200 economic fugitives were at large in the US and he was one of only three officers charged with bringing them back.

Chinese liaison officers do not have judicial powers, so they must only rely on local police to investigate and obtain evidence.

"First, we had to submit detailed case files, including warrants issued by Interpol, to the FBI and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and request their assistance," Wang said.

Questions:

1. Which US department is China’s Ministry of Public Security negotiating with?

2. How many officers does China have stationed abroad?

3. Do Chinese liaison officers have judicial powers?

Answers:

1. US Department of Homeland Security.

2. 80.

3. No.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.

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