MOSCOW, November 26 (Sputnik) – A senior Chinese diplomat on Wednesday asked US and other Western countries to work with Beijing to send back officials turned fugitives who committed economic crimes in China.
Xu Hong, Director-General of the treaty and law division for China's Foreign Ministry, said at a news conference that some countries have "passive attitudes" about signing extradition treaties with Beijing, reports AP.
"China is ready to sign an extradition treaty, but it looks like the United States is not prepared to do so," Xu said, during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing.
Beijing has appraised that since the mid-1990s, 16,000 to 18,000 corrupt officials and employees of state-owned enterprises have fled China or gone into hiding, robbing assets totaling more than 800 billion yuan ($135 billion), reports AP.
Most of the Chinese officials accused of corruption escape to United States, Canada and Australia. These countries have yet to sign extradition treaties with China.
According to some analysts, these countries are hesitant to return fugitives suspected of economic crimes to Beijing because of concerns over whether they would get fair trials, and because of China's use of the death penalty for such crimes, stated AP.
According to Chinese diplomat, Xu Hong, the biggest obstacle is the differences in social and legal systems between China and the Western countries. He added that some foreign judges who rule against expatriating Chinese fugitives lack a proper understanding of China's legal system or hold prejudices against it.
Washington has agreed to more dialogues and cooperation with China regarding drafting an extradition treaty, but so far there is no confirmation to suggest that the US would be willing to surrender alleged criminals to China.