FACT CHECK: China Flouts International Norms – and Truth – in Forced Renditions.

On January 19, Bloomberg News asked Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian about a recent report from the Safeguard Defenders, a Madrid human rights group, about Operation Fox Hunt – a controversial anti-corruption program to force purported overseas “fugitives” back to China.

Citing the report, the Bloomberg journalist said, “China has relied on coercion, including kidnapping and pressuring families, to force some 10,000 fugitives to return from overseas.”

Zhao replied that the Chinese government’s “clear-cut stand against fighting corruption” and participation in international efforts “to repatriate fugitives” is “a just cause” that “has won full support from the Chinese people and wide praise from the international community.”

He added: "In pursuing fugitives and recovering stolen assets, China’s judicial and law-enforcement authorities strictly abide by international rules, fully respect the judicial sovereignty of other countries, and put forward request[s] and conduct cooperation in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption or bilateral agreements.”

However, there is voluminous evidence that in Operation Fox Hunt, and its parent program, called Sky Net, China has flagrantly violated other countries’ judicial sovereignty, international rules and customary state-to-state behavior. Practices like those detailed by Safeguard Defenders also have been reported by independent news media and U.S. law enforcement, reinforcing the body of evidence.

In written comments to Polygraph.info, Peter Dahlin, director of Safeguard Defenders, said China's record on renditions, or what his group calls involuntary returns, “is the opposite of what Zhao says.”

LINK: www.polygraph.info/a/fact-check-china-fox-hunt-operation/31668928.html

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