Unlike South Dakota, Australia Will Help China Seize Stolen Ex-Pat Funds
In the light of the Mike Rounds EB-5 visa-selling scandal that could throw the South Dakota senate race to outspoken progressive populist Rick Weiland, maybe it's time to go back to the June guest post Qiao Li did for us, China's Naked Officials. Short version: Chinese bureaucrats and government officials are illegally moving vast sums of wealth offshore for their own and their families' use. The Washington-based Global Financial Integrity group, which analyses illicit financial flows, estimates that $2.83 trillion flowed illegally out of China from 2005 to 2011.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that China's Communist Party "will likely never open all the files on its recent painful past." And, presumably, they don't foresee a future without the Communist Party being in control. "Only a 'small number' of the party's historical files were still sealed, [Xie Chuntao, Director of the Party History Teaching and Research Department of the Party School] said. 'Some involve the state's core interests, and some are not convenient to be released,' Xie added. 'From a historical research it is to be hoped that it would be best if they are all opened. But I fear this cannot happen, and may never happen'."
So much for the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the death of Lin Biao in a plane crash as mysterious as the one Karl Rove used to murder Paul Wellstone. But what about Chinese deprecations that are happening today-- like the hacking of Apple's iCloud and, going back to the naked officials, the deal China made with Australia to seize their outsourced assets-- a very different kind of deal than the one South Dakota ex-Governor Mike Rounds made to get a cut of the stolen assets for himself.
Australian police have agreed to assist China in the extradition and seizure of assets of corrupt Chinese officials who have fled with hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit funds, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Monday.Interestingly, last week Australia started boosting a visa scheme like the one that got Mike Rounds into so much trouble that aims to lure "investment" from wealthy Chinese, including jumping the wealthy crooks to the front of the visa line, just the way Rounds did in South Dakota.
The joint operation would make its first seizure of assets in Australia within weeks, the newspaper quoted Bruce Hill, manager of Australian Federal Police (AFP) operations in Asia, as saying in an interview.
AFP officials in Canberra had no immediate comment.
China announced in July an operation called Fox Hunt to go after corrupt officials who have fled overseas with their ill-gotten gains, part of President Xi Jinping's broader crackdown on graft.
Getting such cooperation from Australia would be a coup for Beijing, which has struggled to get its hands on suspects in Western countries, whose governments have been reluctant to hand over wanted Chinese because of concerns over whether they would get fair trials back home.
The United States, Canada and Australia are the three most popular destinations for suspected Chinese economic criminals, Chinese state media has said.
Australia and China had agreed on a priority list of alleged economic fugitives who have taken residence in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
Among the suspects identified by the AFP were naturalized Australian citizens and permanent residents who for years had laundered money under the guise of being genuine investment or business migrants from China, it added. [This, of course, is exactly what Mike Rounds and his cronies in South Dakota have been doing.]
The priority list agreed between China's Ministry of Public Security and the AFP was culled from a broader list of "less than a 100 people," Hill told the paper, adding that the assets being pursued by China in Australia were in the "many hundreds of millions of dollars."
Australia and China don't have an extradition agreement, but the Australian attorney general can consider extradition requests for offences under the U.N. Convention against Corruption, which Canberra and Beijing are both parties to.