Fri, Jun 02, 2017 - Page 6 News List

US returns criminal suspect to China

AFP, BEIJING

The US yesterday returned a fugitive to China, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said, in what appears to be the first such instance of cooperation between the two nations since the election of US President Donald Trump.

The suspect, referred to only by the surname Zhu (朱), was repatriated with the assistance of US immigration authorities, and is accused of a “violation of personal rights,” the statement said, which could include an array of crimes ranging from murder to assault to kidnapping.

State broadcaster China Central Television showed live footage of Zhu arriving on the tarmac in Beijing.

The suspect descended from a United Airlines plane wearing a black hood and was handed over to a group of Chinese police officers by US immigration authorities.

Upon alighting, Zhu was asked to sign and fingerprint a document as photographers snapped photographs of the handover.

Zhu fled China to the US on April 4 last year, the ministry statement said.

Upon learning of the alleged crime, authorities issued an Interpol red notice for Zhu, who was picked up by US immigration authorities in January for overstaying a visa.

Zhu’s return was the “first result” of the April meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), the statement added.

The US embassy in Beijing did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

China has pursued fugitives abroad as part of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign that began under Xi, but its tactics, which are alleged to include the intimidation of suspects on foreign soil, have led to reprimands from other governments.

The US and China do not have an extradition treaty, but Washington has returned criminal suspects to the nation in the past. Washington has also over the years returned individuals to China using immigration proceedings.

China is seeking the extradition of a number of other alleged criminals from the US, including billionaire real-estate developer Guo Wengui (郭文貴) on corruption charges.

Beijing in April issued an Interpol red notice for Guo.

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