Ex-Bank of China exec repatriated from US ahead of Xi-Biden talks
Published: Nov 15, 2021 07:31 PM
Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

Ahead of the virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, Xu Guojun, a former Bank of China executive, was repatriated from the US on Sunday following the two countries' joint efforts, ending a 20-year pursuit. 

The case demonstrated China's determination to fight corruption and resolve to chase corrupt fugitives wherever they are hiding, and is also widely believed to be a positive gesture from the US ahead of the highly anticipated meeting.

Xu's case has made China's position in combating corruption clear: no matter where corrupt fugitives fled to and how long they have been hiding, they will not escape legal punishment, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at Monday's press briefing. 

"The amount of money involved in the case was particularly huge and the circumstances are very serious," Zhao said. 

Xu, former president of a Bank of China branch in the city of Kaiping in South China's Guangdong Province, was suspected of corruption and embezzlement of a large amount of public funds together with his predecessor and successor Xu Chaofan and Yu Zhendong. Xu Guojun fled to the US in 2001. 

More than 2 billion yuan ($314 million) of funds from the case involving the three individuals have been recovered domestically and from abroad, according to the statement from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Sunday.

Yu was repatriated to China in 2004 and Xu Chaofan in 2018. Through the joint efforts by China and the US, Xu's repatriation marked the success of 20 years of law enforcement tracking down fugitives and assets recovery work connected to the case, according to Zhao.

Zhao stressed that corruption seriously erodes social fairness and justice, which is the common enemy of mankind.

The Chinese government implements the UN Convention Against Corruption seriously, and will continue to pursue fugitives and assets recovery related to the cases, and will never allow any corrupt actions to escape punishment, Zhao said.

"We also call on the international community to obey the principles of fairness and justice, to forge a political consensus on combating transnational corruption, and to strengthen international law enforcement cooperation. We hope that the international society will not provide any safe haven for any corrupt actions," Zhao said.