Opinion / From the Press

Cooperation brings graft officials back for trial

By Li Yang ( Updated: 2014-10-21 13:33

Australia’s cooperation with China, according to the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention, has circumvented the legal obstacle between the two countries, which are yet to reach any bilateral extradition agreements, and constitutes a decisive threat to corrupt officials fleeing to Australia, says an article in the Beijing News. Excerpts:

The Australian Federal Police has reached an agreement with its Chinese counterpart that they will cooperate in a few weeks to investigate and confiscate the illegal property of corrupt officials fleeing to Australia from China. The cooperation may also extradite the graft officials back to China.

From heads of State-owned enterprises to provincial Party chiefs, many corrupt officials in China regard Australia as an asylum to evade prosecution from Chinese authorities.

Australia is a country of immigrants where it is easy to obtain legal identity. Australia also has a developed financial industry where it is easy to whitewash illegal income. There is no bilateral extradition agreement yet between Australia and China, so it is difficult for China to bring these graft officials back.

The Chinese government has stepped up its pursuit of graft officials who have fled to foreign countries recently, and has pledged that the economic criminals extradited to trials at home will not be sentenced to the death penalty. So far, these efforts have seen concrete support from Australia, Canada and the United States, the three popular destinations for Chinese corrupt officials.

Many corrupt officials have already obtained legal identity abroad and whitewashed their illegal income.

How to share the corrupt officials’ illegal income is a question raised by Canadian authorities and one which has generated divergent opinions from China and Canada. It is a breakthrough, however, that Australia has relinquished any claim to illegal property the corrupt officials have stolen from China.

The extradition of the corrupt officials should be the next key point for the bilateral cooperation between Australia and China in the future.

Most Viewed Today's Top News