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Most wanted sets an example for others

Updated: 2016-07-25 07:04
(China Daily)

Most wanted sets an example for others

Undated file photo of Yang Xiuzhu, the former deputy Mayor of Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. Yang, China's most-wanted fugitive suspected of corruption, is in US custody and waiting for extradition. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]

Yang Xiuzhu, who fled to the United States in 2003 and is suspected of taking with her a large sum of money in bribes and embezzled public funds, has reportedly made the decision to give up her application to seek asylum in the United States.

A report by US-based World Journal quoted her lawyer as saying that she saw no hope of leading a good life in the US and her health condition is deteriorating, which made her even more homesick than she was.

She is currently being held in prison in the United States, and her lawyer said that she would probably be repatriated to China in a month if the necessary procedure is completed as scheduled.

Whether Yang, who is top of China's wanted list of corrupt officials who have fled abroad with their illegal gains, can be brought home to stand trial has long been of great concern for the Chinese government in its efforts to track down suspected economic criminals.

It is also a concern for ordinary Chinese who want to have confidence that all corrupt officials who have fled abroad will be brought to justice and their illegal assets recovered.

The difficulties experienced in bringing back suspects who have sought safe havens overseas has given some fugitives hope that they will still be able to flee to Western countries, such as the United States, and remain there with their illegal gains for the rest of their lives.

If Yang is successfully repatriated back to China, it would mean a great deal for China's efforts in hunting down similar fugitives. Her repatriation will also serve as a reminder to other corrupt elements that choosing to give themselves in to the Chinese government for a lenient punishment may be a way for them to bring to an end their life on the run in a foreign land.

For those corrupt elements who are still considering whether to flee or not, Yang's repatriation may deal a blow to their plans to avoid paying the price for their economic crimes.

They should seriously think about which way to go: risk fleeing abroad with their ill-gotten gains or to give themselves in for a lenient penalty.

For all fugitives, it is important to remember that Heaven's justice is inescapable.

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