BEIJING - The United States has repatriated one of China's most wanted economic fugitives, the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog said on Friday, signaling that Washington is cooperating with Beijing in China's corruption crackdown.
The repatriation of Yang Jinjun marked the first time that China has succeeded in getting a person back from the United States since Beijing published a list of 100 wanted economic fugitives in April, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said.
The list is part of "Sky Net," an initiative the Chinese government unveiled last month to better coordinate its fight against suspected corrupt officials who have fled overseas and to recover their "dirty" assets.
Chinese officials have long complained that China's anti-corruption fight has been hampered by a reluctance by Western countries to sign extradition treaties. China does not have extradition treaties with the United States or Canada - the two most popular destinations for suspected economic criminals.
Such countries have balked at signing extradition deals with China, partly out of concern about the integrity of its judicial system and treatment of prisoners. Rights groups say Chinese authorities use torture and that the death penalty is common in corruption cases.
Officials say only about a dozen people on the "Sky Net" list have been returned to China so far, mostly from countries with close ties to Beijing