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China Says US Agrees to Help Hunt ‘Economic Fugitives’

  • Reuters

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, in sunglasses, gets briefed while walking through Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, April 10, 2015.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, in sunglasses, gets briefed while walking through Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, April 10, 2015.

The United States has promised support for China's campaign to hunt corrupt officials fleeing abroad, the official Xinhua news agency reported late Friday, after meetings between security officials from the world's two largest economies.

Talks this week between U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Chinese domestic security leaders Meng Jianzhu and Guo Shengkun also touched on counterterrorism, intellectual property rights, maritime law enforcement and cybersecurity issues, Xinhua said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security could not be immediately reached for comment. In an earlier statement on its website, the department said Johnson met with counterparts to discuss a variety of homeland security-related issues.

Guo said that the two sides should cooperate in law enforcement, Xinhua said, and that both sides agreed they would not harbor fugitives.

Chinese public security authorities said the United States supported Chinese programs dubbed "Sky Net" and "Operation Fox Hunt," which are meant to coordinate a campaign to track down suspected corrupt officials who have fled overseas and to recover their assets.

The Chinese government has given the United States a priority list of Chinese officials suspected of corruption who are believed to have fled there, state media has reported.

More than 150 “economic fugitives,” including corrupt government officials, are in the United States, Chinese authorities said.

China's anti-corruption watchdog said last month that more than 500 suspects were repatriated to China last year, along with more than 3 billion yuan ($484.32 million).

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he aims to track down corrupt officials in a far-reaching campaign against graft.

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