After 13 Years on the Run, Chinese Fugitive Gives Herself Up to Beijing

Leo Timm
By Leo Timm
November 16, 2016News
After 13 Years on the Run, Chinese Fugitive Gives Herself Up to Beijing

Yang Xiuzhu, a steamed bun seller-turned-corrupt Chinese official on Interpol’s wanted list, has voluntarily returned to China, the communist regime’s disciplinary commission said. The former vice-mayor arrived in Beijing on Nov. 16 and was escorted off an American flight by two policewomen.

She has been accused of embezzling 250 million yuan (about $40 million); she resisted arrest in 2003 by escaping the country.  After a long string of unsuccessful asylum applications, U.S. authorities detained her in 2014 when she tried to enter the country on a fake Dutch passport. 

In 2015 the Chinese authorities released a list of 100 wanted officials who had fled abroad. Yang Xiuzhu’s name was first on the list. Interpol is assisting the search for these individuals, and its new chief is a Chinese former police minister. 

Yang, 70,  was an urban development official and vice-mayor overseeing major construction projects in the coastal city of Wenzhou, which is also her hometown.

According to Caixin, a respected journal with connections to the Communist Party disciplinary authorities, Yang originally made a living selling steamed buns in the streets and later rose to political prominence in the 1990s.

Yang’s repatriation could be bad news for other high-ranking Party officials when she is interrogated by the disciplinary commission. Though she has been out of the country for over a decade, her five years in a provincial-level job would make her privy to the illicit dealings of her colleagues, some of whom are still active politicians.

The Trend, based in Hong Kong, reported previously that Yang derived her official position from her ally Zhang Dejiang, who from 1998 to the end of 2002 served as the provincial head of Zhejiang, where Wenzhou is located. Citing an inside source, Yang was driven into exile when Zhang left his post.

Zhang Dejiang currently serves on the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee that heads the Communist Party. Also the chairman of China’s Party-controlled national legislature and the executive group overseeing Hong Kong, Zhang is a protoege of former regime head Jiang Zemin. Officials in Jiang’s far-flung patronage network are at loggerheads with China’s leader Xi Jinping, whose anti-corruption campaign has brought down hundreds of high-ranking Party cadres. 

(NTD Television)

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