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Detained Woman in New Jersey Asks To Go to Chinese Prison

(BBC) – China’s most wanted woman has surrendered herself to Chinese authorities, after a 13 year manhunt.

Yang Xiuzhu is accused of embezzling more than $40m (£26m) when working as a public official.

Ms Yang, 70, was detained in the United States in 2014 after she tried to enter the country using a fake Dutch passport.

She is a high-profile target in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption. (FAM NOTE: “OPERATION SKYNET”)

Yang Xiu arriving in in Beijing earlier today (Photo Credit: Xinhua)

Ms Yang handed herself over to Chinese authorities, according to China’s government watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Chinese state media said Ms Yang wanted to return to China for medical treatment, after feeling she had not received adequate care in the American prison system.

In April 2015, China released the names of 100 suspects wanted for economic crimes and said to be living abroad. Ms Yang was top of that list, with her details published on Interpol’s website.

Ms Yang amassed a fortune overseeing construction projects as deputy mayor of Wenzhou in eastern China in the 1990s, according to reports in state media.

Yang Xiuzhu attends a meeting in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, December 29, 2001. Interpol has arrest warrants for 69 Chinese wanted on charges of corruption, embezzlement, fraud and bribery, according to a Reuters analysis of its public database. Photo Credit: Reuters

She left her homeland in 2003 and went into hiding.

The US immigration agency had confirmed that Ms Yang was being held in a detention facility in New Jersey.

China has been pushing to establish an extradition treaty with the United States, but a US State Department spokesperson said, in October, that this was not under negotiation.

Its neighboring country Canada however, is believed to be actively discussing the possibility of an extradition treaty with China. 

Other Anglophone countries such as Australia have seen some mixed reactions as well:

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