APEC economies decide to launch anti-corruption network

2014-11-12 03:36:59 GMT2014-11-12 11:36:59(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
Chinese PresidentXi Jinpingbriefs the media on the status and achievements of the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting after the event concluded at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in the northern suburb of Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)Chinese PresidentXi Jinpingbriefs the media on the status and achievements of the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting after the event concluded at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in the northern suburb of Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have decided to set up a cross-border law enforcement network to strengthen transnational anti-corruption cooperation in the region, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday.

Leaders and representatives of the 21 APEC economies have reached consensus in hunting down fugitives at large, recovering their ill-gotten assets and expanding law enforcement cooperation, Xi told a press conference at the end of a two-day APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

Gao Bo, vice secretary general of Clean Government Studies Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it signaled that APEC economies have reached a consensus that they put aside political and ideological differences to clamp down corruption.

The decision was echoed by an anti-corruption declaration adopted by the APEC Ministerial Meeting that wrapped up on Saturday.

In the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption, APEC members pledge to eliminate corruption through extradition and judicial assistance, and adopt more flexible measures to recover the proceeds of corruption within the law of the APEC economies.

Li Chengyan, professor with Peking University, said the Asia-Pacific economies tend to be the major targets of corrupt officials who flee overseas, especially the United States, Canada and Australia which haven't signed extradition treaties with China.

The declaration will speed up negotiations over extradition treaties, Gao said.

A regular contact mechanism and a law enforcement cooperation mechanism will be built under the network to facilitate information sharing and build up trust, and to investigate corruption, bribery, money laundering and illegal trade crimes. It will also gather and share experiences in anti-graft areas through seminars and exchanges.

Zhou Shuzhen, professor with the Renmin University of China, who attended an APEC anti-corruption forum in August, said, "The network was only a blueprint at that time, but it came into realization three months later. It reflected China's strong power for action under the APEC framework."

Gao said the building of the network could make the anti-corruption efforts in the APEC region more unified and cost-efficient.

China is in the middle of an anti-corruption campaign targeting both high-ranking "tigers" and lowly "flies."

The country is also seeking to widen the campaign to those who have fled abroad in what it called the Fox Hunt 2014 operation, to "block the last route of retreat" for corrupt officials.

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