Chinese President Xi Jinping's campaign against corruption focuses on high-ranking and local officials, known respectively as "tigers" and "flies." Now he is also going after "foxes" - allegedly corrupt individuals who have fled the country.
Beijing has officially asked the US and French governments for help with the chase. To sweeten the deal, it is offering to share whatever ill-gotten assets are seized, from houses and cars to bank deposits.
China has informed France that it is hunting for 10 economic fugitives that fled there, including bribery suspect Yang Xianghong. Yang, a former Communist Party chief of a district in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, was part of a delegation that visited Paris in 2008. When his colleagues were about to fly home, he told them he wanted to stay behind a while to get treatment for a bad back. He never returned.
Robert Gelli, France's director of criminal affairs and the No. 3 official in the country's Justice Ministry, last November visited Beijing and put in a request: He wanted to see a prison. If the French government was going to consider deporting fugitives, he said, it wanted to see what conditions the foxes would be subjected to.
France had made such requests before, to no avail. This time, Chinese officials agreed.
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