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Foreign suspects 'should also be targeted'

Updated: 2015-04-01 07:37
By Lia Zhu in San Francisco (China Daily)

As China's anti-corruption campaign reaches the United States, a legal expert said the Chinese government should also pay attention to foreign companies doing business with China while enhancing its cooperation with the US.

"I think the Chinese government is absolutely on the right track of cracking down on corruption," said Tom Kiltgaard, an adjunct law professor at the University of San Francisco.

"What they need to do is to cooperate with the US government, tracking down people who come over here and hide money.

"They (the Chinese government) also need to become aggressive in going after the foreigners who may be making the corrupt payments to Chinese officials," said Kiltgaard, who is also vice-president of the Chinese Culture Foundation and a founding director of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee.

"I think the Chinese government has the power, in China at least, to track down the bank accounts and find out who these foreigners are and then cease doing business with them," he said.

The government also may consider requiring top executives or senior officers of companies doing business with a government-controlled company to sign a declaration that an officer has been allowed to investigate possible corruption, Kiltgaard said.

Failing to file the report could lead to the cancellation of visas or contract payments, or a freezing of bank accounts, he suggested.

"A false declaration would subject the signer to criminal penalties if and when he or she ever came to China, and would also subject the company or business separately to criminal penalties," he said.

"These remedies may provoke an outcry from foreigners, but the problem is serious," he said.

"Likewise, China's companies should be prohibited from doing business with companies organized under the laws of foreign countries which do not have treaties with China authorizing extradition of persons to China for allegedly giving or offering bribes to Chinese officials or employees.

"The exact language of the treaties would need to be worked out, with the Chinese side being required to provide some credible evidence of the alleged bribes," he said. "In the meantime, the Chinese side could revoke the visas and contracts until the matter was resolved in China."


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