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updated: 8/11/2014 7:37 AM

China has more than 150 economic fugitives in U.S.

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Bloomberg News

More than 150 people suspected of economic crimes from China remain at large in the U.S., China Daily reported today, as officials pledge to step up efforts to hunt down those who take their ill-gotten gains abroad.

Most of those who fled to the U.S. are officials facing corruption charges at home, the China Daily reported, citing Liao Jinrong, director general of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. The U.S. has become the top destination for so-called economic fugitives from China because the two countries don't have an extradition treaty and lengthy legal procedures make it difficult to bring them back to China, the newspaper quoted Liao as saying.

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Chinese leaders have escalated a campaign against graft, announcing a probe into former security chief Zhou Yongkang last month. The anti-corruption campaign, begun after President Xi Jinping took over the Communist Party in 2012, won't stop with Zhou, a commentary in the official People's Daily newspaper said July 29.

In January, Wang Qishan, the head of China's anti-graft watchdog, demanded new efforts to chase down officials suspected of economic crimes who flee abroad. A department was created for that purpose weeks after China's Public Security Ministry began an operation named "Fox Hunt 2014" to track such fugitives.

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