China teams up with dozens of other nations to form anti-corruption network

World Today

Fighting corruption was a high priority of this year’s APEC meeting. Members are building up a network to prevent the flight of both illegal funds and criminals. CCTV America’s Han Bin interviewed a Chinese anti-corruption expert who said APEC’s new anti-corruption mechanism could have far-reaching significance for international cooperation.

China and Australia have joined hands in fighting corruption. Police from both sides are taking action and have seized the assets of corrupt Chinese officials in Australia.

This is part of China ‘s international campaign, code named “Operation Fox Hunt.” Initiated by the Ministry of Public Security, its objective is to bring back all fugitive officials to face justice.

China teams up with other nations to form anti-corruption network

Fighting corruption was a high priority of this year's APEC meeting. Members are building up a network to prevent the flight of both illegal funds and criminals. CCTV America's Han Bin interviewed a Chinese anti-corruption expert who said APEC's new anti-corruption mechanism could have far-reaching significance for international cooperation.

Chinese experts, like Professor Cheng Wenhao from Tsinghua University, believe that the China-Australian cooperation is more than just symbolic — it opens a new route for the country’s global fight against corruption.

“Both countries are signatory states of the U.N. Anti-corruption Convention,” Wenhao said. “They have obligations on law enforcement. Although they have no extradition treaty, they can still cooperate within the framework of a higher international law.”

The decades-old game plan of corrupt official is fleeing abroad and transferring assets overseas. The top three destinations are Australia, the U.S., and Canada. This is because it is easy to get residency and transfer money, and there is no fear of prosecution because of no extradition treaty.

China’s new anti-corruption direction is going beyond borders. The focus has changed from consensus to pragmatic cooperation.

“China has been actively seeking bilateral judicial assistance with other countries,” said Hua Chunyong, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “We have signed an agreement on judicial assistance, extradition, and the transfer of convicted persons with around 63 countries.”

China is pushing to upgrade the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies, known as ACT-NET. Sharing information and resources is key.

“Many countries have found that illegal money usually went through underground economies, which created more crimes,” Wenhao said. “The attitudes in dealing with fugitives and their illegal money have been drastically changed. There’s been a high consensus among APEC members to expand cross-border cooperation to bring more transparency and fairness to the global economy.”

Wenhao said stronger law enforcement cooperation could be a game-changer not just for China and APEC, but in the global fight against corruption.