Tags: china | demands | return | defector

China Demands Return of High-Level Defector

Image: China Demands Return of High-Level Defector
(Getty Images) China President Xi Jinping

By    |   Monday, 03 Aug 2015 08:38 PM

China is demanding the United States return a high-level defector who may have information the Chinese government considers damaging, The New York Times reports.

Ling Wancheng, who has owned properties in the United States since late 2013 is the brother of Ling Jihua, who for years held a post in the Chinese government equivalent to the White House chief of staff. As a result Ling Wancheng is believed to have information that might be embarrassing to Beijing.

Ling Jihua fell during an anti-corruption probe pursued by President Xi Jinping, whose first state visit to the United States is set for September.

Ling Wancheng's presence in the United States threatens to strain that visit, though the American government already is unhappy with Chinese cybertheft of American government data and territorial claims being made by China.

The White House has refused China's demands to return Ling. He is among several other Chinese citizens inside the United States that the Beijing government wants returned.

U.S. Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi told the Times that his department "has repeatedly shown that it will vigorously pursue prosecutions in the United States where there is alleged money laundering or other criminal activity in this country by fugitives sought by China."

He added, however, "it is not sufficient to simply provide a list of names," and that the department has urged China to provide evidence.

Ling Wancheng is thought to be in his mid-50s and goes by either Wang Cheng or Jason Wang. He was not on a public list of 40 Chinese fugitive believed to be in the United States that was released earlier this year by the Chinese government.

Ling bought a house in Loomis, California in 2013 under the name Wang Cheng, from NBA player Beno Udrih, the Times reported. The name of his wife, Li Ping, also appears on purchase documents.

But the two were known to neighbors as Jason and Jane Wang, though neighbor Ray Matteson did not recognize a picture of Li Ping as the woman who called herself Jane Wang.

China Times reported in May that Ling was living in the United States with an "older woman" he had married to secure a green card.

Matteson said he has not seen the couple since October and hasn't talked to him at all since May, when he had to contact him on behalf of the security company to obtain the code to open his gate.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Christopher Bentley told the Times it typically takes one to three years to settle an asylum case.

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China is demanding the United States return a high-level defector who may have information the Chinese government considers damaging, The New York Times reports.
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2015-38-03
Monday, 03 Aug 2015 08:38 PM
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