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China urges US to repatriate fugitive ex-official

Updated: Jun 11,2015 8:46 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman urged on June 11 the United States to repatriate a fugitive ex-Chinese official at the earliest date.

Spokesman Hong Lei’s remarks came after the first hearing in the trial of China’s most wanted economic fugitive Yang Xiuzhu took place in a New York immigration court on June 9.

Yang should be punished in China according to Chinese law, said Hong at a routine press briefing.

Yang, former vice-mayor of Wenzhou in East China’s Zhejiang province, fled China with her family when investigators started looking into her activities in 2003. Investigators have found evidence that she accepted 253 million yuan ($41 million at current price) in bribes.

China released a list of 100 economic fugitives in April as part of the country’s recent anti-corruption campaign. Yang is on the list.

Last month, a source from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Yang has been detained in the United States. ICE accused Yang of “violating the terms of the Visa Waiver Program” and asked the immigration court to deport her to China.

China and the United States have cooperated in several cases through relevant channel, Hong said, noting that the two sides will further join efforts in striking against transnational crime.

He stressed that the Chinese government will continue its efforts in pursuing fugitive suspects.