G20 to cooperate in fighting graft

Updated: 2016-09-09 07:45

By Zhang Yan and Cao Yin(China Daily Europe)

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Members agree to close doors to corrupt fugitive officials, and set up an anti-corruption research center in Beijing

Members of the G20 have agreed to advance the anti-corruption campaign and refuse to offer "safe havens" for corrupt officials who remain at large in foreign countries.

China is moving quickly to implement the anti-corruption consensus reached at the summit, by setting up the group's first anti-graft research center in Beijing.

The center, based at Beijing Normal University, will officially begin operations in a few months. It will provide intelligence support in the hunt for economic fugitives and confiscation of their ill-gotten assets.

The summit also passed the G20 2017-18 Anti-Corruption Action Plan, President Xi said. "These anti-graft achievements will leave corrupt officials no place to hide in G20 members' territories and in the world at large," he said.

In recent years, many G20 economies, including the United States and Canada, have become popular destinations for fugitive corrupt officials due to the lack of extradition treaties as well as legal differences, according to China's Ministry of Public Security. Many corrupt officials have transferred billions of yuan in assets to foreign accounts through money-laundering and underground banks, according to the ministry.

The anti-graft achievements are aimed at creating "a zero-tolerance, zero-loophole and zero-obstacle anti-corruption international cooperation mechanism to fight corrupt suspects and confiscate their illegal proceeds", according to a statement provided by the nation's top corruption watchdog, the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

According to the CCDI, the advanced anti-corruption campaign covers a range of important issues, including refusing fugitives entry into their destination countries, setting up investigation procedures for individual cases and improving cooperative legal frameworks, which will "clearly require the countries concerned to provide favorable conditions for catching fugitives".

Gao Bo, a political researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says the anti-graft consensus reached at the G20 Summit will establish "a win-win situation among the G20 economies, reflect more concerns from developing countries, and make a political commitment to strengthen international anti-graft cooperation".

Huang Feng, an international criminal law professor at Beijing Normal University, says these achievements will enable G20 economies to "put aside political and legislative differences to look for common interests, while establishing a cooperative mechanism on information sharing, joint investigation, rapid repatriation, capability building and assets recovery".

Wang Junlin, a senior lawyer specializing in international commerce and business competition who attended the Business 20 Summit in Hangzhou on Sept 3, said he expects more international anti-graft agreements to be put into practice.

"When our cooperation in this area develops well, I think G20 members will better understand one another, which is conducive to further intergovernmental work."

Contact the writers at zhangyan1@chinadaily.com.cn

G20 to cooperate in fighting graft

(China Daily European Weekly 09/09/2016 page14)