The APEC Ministerial Meeting has set up a law enforcement cooperation network to crack down on corruption, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Nov 8.
“With China pushing forward the cause, APEC has heightened its anti-corruption effort this year,” Wang, accompanied by Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, said at a news conference.
Representatives of the APEC economies attending the two-day meeting, which began on Nov 7, adopted an anti-corruption proclamation and set up a network within APEC to cooperate in law enforcement, thus strengthening cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region to catch economic fugitives and recover stolen assets, Wang said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called the network “a major step forward”.
The adoption of the proclamation is one of the six agreements sought at the meeting, Wang said.
According to a work report in January by China’s disciplinary chief, Wang Qishan, one of the key anti-corruption tasks for 2014 is to strengthen international cooperation, including judicial assistance and law enforcement, with other countries and regions, and enhance efforts to nab fugitives and recover assets through the international community.
In July, the Ministry of Public Security started a campaign called “Fox Hunt 2014” to track down economic fugitives. t
As of Oct 29, Chinese police had brought more than 180 suspects back from more than 40 countries and regions, the ministry said.
The anti-corruption cooperation network will deter corrupt officials, said Zhang Jianping, a researcher with the National Development and Reform Commission.
“Many corrupt officials flee to countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific region, such as the United States, Canada and Australia. In the past when we didn’t have this cooperative system, it was very hard to find people hiding in these areas. Even if we found them, the process of extradition was difficult,” he said.
“Setting up a system will enable the authorities to track down and bring back these people with high efficiency.”
In another development, Foreign Minister Wang Yi also expressed hope on Nov 8 that his meeting with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida will reinforce Japan’s resolve to carry out a four-point agreement-in-principle that would help get relations back on a positive track.
During his talks with Kishida, Wang said that the agreement is an important step toward improving China-Japan relations, and the key is that Japan should treat it seriously, obey it and implement it, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency.
In another meeting on Nov 8, Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng met with Yoichi Miyazawa, the Japanese trade and industry minister.
The current scale of bilateral trade cooperation is the result of the efforts from both Chinese and Japanese governments and businesses, and should be cherished by both sides, Gao said.