More than 200 cross-border criminal cases have been solved through police cooperation between China and Europe since the beginning of last year, the Ministry of Public Security said on Sept 17.
Some of those cases involve drug trafficking, cigarette smuggling and fraud via telecommunications, Xu Naigang, deputy director of the ministry’s international cooperation bureau, said at the China-EU Conference on Law Enforcement Cooperation and Police Training in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
Many Chinese suspects have fled to Europe in recent years due to a lack of extradition treaties with some countries and obstacles in legal procedures.
Fugitives accused of crimes in China pose security threats to their destination countries, said Li Dong, deputy director of the ministry’s economic crimes investigation bureau.
“As China and the EU are faced with security challenges, we are looking forward to strengthened initiatives,” said Lars Gronvald, head of the development and cooperation section of the EU delegation.
“The EU is looking forward to further engagements between the two sides in policy dialogue and police training in fighting against cross-border crimes, including cooperating in capturing and repatriating the fugitives,” he said.
In recent years, progress has been made between the two sides in strengthening cooperation in law enforcement.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, China has signed extradition agreements with several EU countries, including Spain and Portugal.
Meanwhile, Chinese judicial organs have established cooperation mechanisms with their counterparts in some EU countries, such as the UK, France, Germany and Italy. They agreed to meet once a year to discuss major concerns, such as attacking cross-border crimes, or hunting and extraditing fugitives.
But Xu said China still faces practical challenges to bring more fugitives back to stand trial.
“It is unlikely the extradition treaties between China and some European countries will be signed soon due to their misunderstanding of the Chinese legal system and doubts over the fairness of criminal prosecutions,” he said.
Hong Daode, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said, “Although China doesn’t have extradition treaties with some EU countries, we will bring fugitives back under the framework of bilateral judicial assistance or reciprocity treaties.”