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China-US: Covert Agents Working in America Get Warning From State Dept

Image: China-US: Covert Agents Working in America Get Warning From State Dept
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, arrive together for a G20 Summit family photo with other world leaders in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

By    |   Monday, 17 Aug 2015 12:20 PM

The U.S. has warned China that covert agents tasked with hunting down alleged Chinese fugitives across the globe are not welcome in America, and should be called home immediately.

According to The New York Times, the Chinese government has officially named the program Operation Fox Hunt. As a central element of President Xi Jinping's fight against government corruption, it has been popular among Chinese citizens.

The agents tasked with hunting down economic fugitives and bringing them back to China, however, have been operating covertly, and often enter the U.S. on tourist or trade visas. After entering and locating Chinese fugitives, they sometimes use strong-arm tactics to repatriate them to China — including threatening family members who remain in China.

The country's Ministry of Public Security reported that, since 2014, roughly 1,000 suspects have been repatriated, 70 of whom returned voluntarily.

Director of Operation Fox Hunt Liu Dong has said in the past that Chinese agents working abroad must comply with local laws, and sometimes even work with local law enforcement to locate fugitive suspects. Elsewhere, however, he has said, "Our principle is thus: Whether or not there is an agreement in place, as long as there is information that there is a criminal suspect, we will chase them over there, we will take our work to them, anywhere."

According to The Times, "It is unclear whether the F.B.I. or the Department of Homeland Security has advocated within the Obama administration to have the Chinese agents expelled from the country, but the White House decision to have the State Department issue a warning to the Chinese government about the activities could be one initial step in the process."

The warning comes amid increasing tensions with China, which is suspected of perpetrating the cyberattack on the Office of Personnel Management in which tens of millions of classified personnel files of government employees were stolen.

The U.S. and China do not have an extradition treaty.

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The U.S. has warned China that covert agents tasked with hunting down alleged Chinese fugitives across the globe are not welcome in America, and should be called home immediately.
china, us, covert agents, warning
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2015-20-17
Monday, 17 Aug 2015 12:20 PM
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