The Chinese government is trying a new method of catching corruption suspects now living overseas: naming and shaming.
The state-run newspaper China Daily published the names, photos, and locations of 22 corruption suspects living abroad, mainly in Western countries like Canada, the United States, and Australia.
The notice issued Friday appears to be an attempt to pressure the suspects to reveal themselves, and the countries they live in to turn them over, according to the Associated Press. Many of these countries don't have extradition treaties with China.
Liu Jianchao speaks during the 13th round of Japan-China Security Dialogue at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on March 19, 2015. (Photo: AFP./Getty Images)
Liu Jianchao, international cooperation bureau director for the ruling Communist Party's discipline inspection commission, told China Daily that the party is hoping the public will provide information about the fugitives.
"These corrupt fugitives used illegal means to grab a large amount of public funds and escaped abroad to avoid punishment, which has seriously harmed people's interests and undermined our credibility and social justice," Liu said.
The 22 suspects were all part of an Interpol red-notice list of 100 of China's "most-wanted" criminals, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The government released a statement that said passports and visas issued to the suspects should be revoked.
"China respects the laws of other countries and is ready to cooperate with them," the statement read.
"We urge specific countries not to pursue their own economic interests by issuing passports and visas through investment immigration schemes when applicants are suspected of corruption."
Real estate developer lost bid for Canadian refugee status
According to the release, the five Canadian-based suspects are all presumed to be living in British Columbia, and are accused of fraud, embezzlement, or misappropriation of public funds.
One of the suspects, Cheng Muyang, also known as Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching, is a Vancouver real estate developer who lost his bid for refugee status in 2015 as a result of China's embezzlement allegations against him.
The South China Morning Post obtained documents from the Panama Papers investigation that revealed Ching was also a director and owner of two offshore companies set up in the British Virgin Islands.
President Xi Jinping's ongoing anti-corruption campaign has been criticized by political dissidents and scholars, who say it has been used to eliminate the Communist Party's political enemies and settle scores, according to the Post.
With files from The Associated Press
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