US says won’t tolerate pressure from China on fugitive families

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Beijing: The United States will not tolerate any pressure from the Chinese government on family members of fugitives to get them to return from America, but can`t guarantee it has not happened, a US official said on Tuesday.

China`s most-wanted graft suspect, Yang Xiuzhu, gave herself up and returned from the United States last week in a major victory for the ruling Communist Party`s overseas hunt for fugitive officials.

Beijing has pursued a search dubbed Operation Fox Hunt for corrupt officials and business executives who have fled abroad with their assets, part of President Xi Jinping`s war on deep-seated corruption.

Upon Yang`s return, the government said family members had cut off funds and were lobbied by senior members of the Chinese community in the United States as part of efforts to secure her surrender.Yang, a former deputy director of Wenzhou`s construction bureau in the booming eastern province of Zhejiang, spent 13 years in hiding abroad.

A US official, speaking to reporters in Beijing under condition that neither names nor government departments were mentioned, said they had been clear with their Chinese counterparts on the repatriation process.

"We`ve made clear that we will not tolerate any pressure being placed on family members or otherwise as a basis for return and … we can`t always ascertain that that`s been lived up to," he said.

Asked if there were specific U.S. concerns about Yang`s case, the official said: "If we had proof that they had engaged in conduct that violated the ground rules we`ve set, of course we would make our objections clear and would not permit that to go forward."

"It`s not that we`re saying that relatives can`t contact somebody and recommend it would be better for them to return. We`re saying that the Chinese can`t – no nation ought to be permitted – to put weight on different people, relatives or something else, to secure an arrival," he said. 

It has not been conceivable to achieve Yang or a lawful agent in China for input. 

In April 2015, China distributed a rundown of 100 of its most-needed debasement suspects, many living in the United States, Canada and Australia. 

China has disturbed Western nations by sending covert specialists to attempt and get suspects back, despite the fact that it says it has changed strategies after grievances. 

"Any law implementation action by Chinese law authorization in the United States of America must be finished with the information and simultaneousness of the United States government and its law requirement substances," another US official said.