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Experts Speculate on Outcome in Chinese Fugitive Case

June 12, 2015 (1 min read)

"As China's most-wanted economic fugitives sits in a New Jersey jail seeking asylum in the United States, legal observers say the US and China may resolve her status through diplomacy.  The first hearing for Yang Xiuzhu took place on Tuesday at an immigration court in Manhattan. The 30-minute hearing was held behind closed doors in response to Yang's privacy waiver request.  She is one of the 100 Chinese nationals suspected of corruption who are believed to have fled abroad. Yang used to serve as vice-mayor of Wenzhou, a coastal city in the eastern Zhejiang province. Chinese investigators say they have evidence that Yang accepted 253 million yuan ($40.7 million) in bribes.  US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Yang is being held at the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny, about 10 miles from Manhattan, for "violating the terms of the Visa Waiver Program," and asked the immigration court to deport her to China.

... Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, a professor at the Cornell University law school in Ithaca, New York, wrote in an e-mail that "any asylum applicant must prove that they have at least a 10 percent chance of being persecuted in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Simply being jailed for a crime isn't persecution, but having your life threatened would be persecution." " - China Daily USA, June 12, 2015.