Return of official’s brother 'difficult'

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-5 0:43:01

US politics blocking Ling Wancheng’s repatriation: expert

China is demanding the return of the youngest brother of a former top State official, who is reportedly hiding in the US, media reported Tuesday.

Analysts said that the repatriation of Ling Jihua's youngest brother, Ling Wancheng, might be difficult for political reasons.  But they added that if proven successful, it will set a precedent to have fugitives suspected of corruption or other crimes returned from the US to China.

Several US officials were cited by The New York Times as saying that the wealthy and politically connected businessman is hiding in the US, adding that the US continues to deny Beijing's demand for Ling Wancheng's return.

Chinese news media Caixin on Tuesday also reported on Ling Wancheng's 725-square-meter house in Loomis, California where he was last contacted by a neighbor in May.

"Since no extradition treaty exists between the two countries and Ling Wancheng is not facing trial, it is difficult for China to ask the US to offer assistance in having him extradited," Zhuang Deshui, deputy director of the Research Center for Government Integrity Building at Peking University, told the Global Times.

Marc Raimondi, US Department of Justice spokesman, was quoted by The New York Times as saying that the department "will vigorously pursue prosecutions in the United States where there is alleged money laundering or other criminal activity in this country by fugitives sought by China."

Raimondi said that "it is not sufficient to simply provide a list of names" and the department has urged China to provide evidence.

 "If Ling Wancheng is successfully repatriated, it will set a good example for the two countries to deal with the issue in a more cooperative way, and it will also serve as a warning to other Chinese fugitives in the US," Zhuang said. 

China and the US have discussed ways of enhancing cooperation on law enforcement issues, including identifying and returning or prosecuting fugitives.

"Signing an extradition treaty is a political issue. It is not easy to get US Congress approval  considering its traditional bias on human rights and other issues involving China," Huang Feng, director of the Institute for International Criminal Law at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times.

Ling Jihua, the vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for "seriously violating" Party disciplines on political matters and confidentiality, Xinhua news agency reported in July.

Ling Wancheng is a businessman whose company amassed more than 1.4 billion yuan ($225 million) from initial public offerings. He was arrested in November 2014, Caixin reported.

Newspaper headline: Return of official’s brother difficult

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