Key Words: China-US; Chinese fugitives
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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.
"We're negotiating with the US Department of Homeland Security and will try to arrange the first summit this year," said Wang Liqiang, a senior official in the ministry's international cooperation bureau.
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.
"Police liaison officers work on the front line and serve as the best bridge between Chinese judicial bodies and foreign counterparts," said Liao Jinrong, who is also with the international cooperation bureau.
However, Wang Zhigang, who held such a post 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.
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