US stands on side of evil hunting Fox Hunter: Global Times editorial

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US stands on side of evil hunting Fox Hunter: Global Times editorial
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FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a virtual news conference at the Department of Justice on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP The US Department of Justice on Wednesday charged eight people in the US for being part of China’s “Operation Fox Hunt” anti-corruption campaign. Five of them have […]

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FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a virtual news conference at the Department of Justice on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

The US Department of Justice on Wednesday charged eight people in the US for being part of China's "Operation Fox Hunt" anti-corruption campaign. Five of them have been arrested. The US alleges that they were in the US to "harass, stalk and coerce" certain residents, pressuring them to return to China as part of the campaign, saying it violates US law. The Department of Justice said in a statement that in many instances the targets of the campaign are "dissidents" and "critics." Washington instigates people to support these outrageous arrests before the presidential election. As expected, many Western media outlets called the five arrested "agents" and the hunted were labeled as "dissidents."

There is no extradition agreement between China and the US. But in the 1990s, the two countries established the China-US Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation. The US is one of the few countries with the highest concentration of economic criminals and corrupt officials fleeing from China. But it is also one of the Western countries that is the least willing to cooperate with China's anti-corruption operations.

Analysts generally believe that an important reason the US is unwilling to cooperate with China's "Operation Fox Hunt" is that it welcomes, or does not hate, corrupt Chinese officials. These corrupt officials have not only violated Chinese laws, but they have also brought a great deal of money to the US. Depositing unknown sums of cash there benefits the US economy. Therefore, the US has no real intention to help China arrest these criminals at all.

It is a rogue tactic to describe economic criminals as dissidents. There are quite a few well-known Chinese dissidents and political opponents in the US. Which one of them has been coerced to return to China? Can the US name one of them? In fact, some dissidents have been away from China for a long time, and they hope to return to China. Some even went to Chinese embassies and consulates, making a farce of by giving themselves up to justice - and even demanding to go home.

In fact, Chinese officials attach great importance to abide by local laws during their fox hunting campaigns abroad. They have shown great patience to avoid conflicts with local laws. The Chinese side has also held many open discussions on how to avoid legal disputes. This is why the progress of "Operation Fox Hunt" has been progressing slowly in North America and European countries. Every success requires great effort. This time, the US has deliberately found faults with China by making a big move to arrest five fox hunters just before the election.

China and other countries have different laws. There may be controversies about Chinese fox hunters, no matter how cautious they have been. In recent years, there have been more public complaints from the US. But the trend is obviously related to the Trump administration's drastic adjustments on US' China policy. The US has crossed the bottom line regarding bilateral ties by arresting the five fox hunters. This is a political attack against China under the cover of so-called legal operations.

So far, none of the criminals arrested during the worldwide Fox Hunt campaign has come under controversy over whether they are being treated unjustly. The global hunt for fugitives opened up a new dimension for China to combat economic crimes and corruption. It has made a new definition of saying the mills of god grind slowly but surely - and played a major deterrent role toward corrupt officials who might be tempted to flee with their wealth. The US' hunt against fox hunters is turning its previously covert shelter into a public umbrella. This is tantamount to opposing the Chinese public, who hate corruption and corrupt individuals who abscond with ill gotten gains.

The US Department of Justice has ostentatiously claimed that, "the hunters became the hunted, the pursuers the pursued." There is room for discussions on details of the judiciary. But Washington has clearly stood on the side of economic crimes and evil in this matter. This is fundamentally wrong. It is a moral failure of the US and shameful example of the US legal spirit.

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