Week of December 8, 2000

The U.S. and China This Week


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DOMESTIC: China Denies Renewed Talks With Dalai Lama

SUMMARY: Canadian police arrested Lai Changxing and his wife last Tuesday on an immigration warrant. Lai is considered to be the man behind China’s
biggest ever corruption scandal, involving hundreds of government officials and billions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

Though China and Canada do not have a formal extradition treaty, China is undergoing talks with Canada in order to secure the extradition of Lai.  Officials
in China have remained silent over whether or not they have encountered difficulties in their request to obtain Lai, especially since Lai would face an
almost certain death penalty if he is sent back.

During a four year operation run by Lai’s YuanHua Group, goods including cars, oil, and cigarettes were smuggled through the port of Xiamen in China’s
Fujian province, totaling some $6.6 billion dollars.

Following a 15-month investigation and arrests, a total of 14 senior government officials and YuanHua Group employees were sentenced to death for their
involvement in the scam.  Another 70 people were sent to jail, receiving sentences between three years to life.

Lai fled to Hong Kong, then to Canada, in August 1999 after a senior police officer tipped him off about the impending arrests.
 
 


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INTERNATIONAL: Suspected Chinese Kingpin Will Remain Detained in Canada

SUMMARY: Lai Changxing, the suspected mastermind behind a huge smuggling scandal in China, failed to be released from custody in Canada where he awaits charges on immigration violations.

Having been arrested two weeks ago by Canadian authorities, Lai and his wife, Tsang Mingna, will continue to be detained until a December 21 deportation hearing.  The adjudicator with Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board, Daphne Shaw Dyck, believed the two were likely to flee Canada if released, but stressed she was not deciding Lai’s guilt or innocence with her ruling.

Using documents largely supplied by Chinese investigators, Canadian authorities allege that Lai’s Yuan Hua Co. maintained a vast smuggling operation in China, Hong Kong, and had links to Asian gangs that operate in Canada.

If deported back to China, Lai would most likely face the death penalty.  He has requested refugee status and argues that the government is setting him up as a scapegoat.
 
 


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           INTERNATIONAL:  Two New Giant Panda’s Arrive in D.C from China

SUMMARY: Washington’s National Zoo warmly welcomed the arrival of two new giant pandas on Wednesday after arriving on a Federal Express flight called “Panda One?

Mei Xiang (beautiful fragrance) is a 2-1/2 year old female, while Tian Tian (more and more) is a 3-1/2 year old male.  Both animals seem to have endured the long journey from China well, showing no signs of distress when they finally reached their new home in the zoo.

In a deal meant to foster conservation, the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan Province agreed to loan the pandas to the zoo for 10 years for $10 million dollars.  And if the animals successfully mate in three or four years, the cubs will be sent back to China.

The animals must be quaranteined for 30 days before they will be put on public display in January.  The zoo spent $1.8 million dollars to improve and expand it’s panda enclosure that includes two shallow caves, trees native to China, and a small pool to bath in.
 
 


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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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