China should police bad foreigners, too: expert

Updated: 2015-03-31 11:58

By Lia Zhu(China Daily USA)

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 China should police bad foreigners, too: expert

Tom Kiltgaard, a Chinese legal expert and adjunct law professor at the University of San Francisco, speaks at a seminar on the Chinese legal system recently held by the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. [Provided to China Daily]

As China's anti-corruption campaign reaches the United States, a legal expert said the Chinese government should also pay attention to the foreign companies doing business with China while enhancing its cooperation with the US.

"I think the Chinese government is absolutely on the right track of cracking down on corruption," said Tom Kiltgaard, a Chinese legal expert and adjunct law professor at University of San Francisco. "What they need to do is to cooperate with the US government, tracking down people who come over here and hide money."

Kiltgaard, who is also vice-president of the Chinese Culture Foundation and a founding director of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee, said that the Chinese government needs to be more aggressive in going after foreigners who may be making the corrupt payments to Chinese government officials.

"I think the Chinese government has the power, in China at least, to track down the bank accounts and find out who these foreigners are and then cease doing business with them," he said.

The government also may consider requiring top executives or senior officers of each company doing business with any government-controlled company to sign a monthly declaration that he or she has caused a responsible officer to seek out and investigate all possible indications of corruption, Kiltgaard said.

The penalties for failure to file the report on time would include an immediate cancellation of all visas of the company's employees, of payment on all existing contracts of the company, and a freezing of all bank accounts of the company of any kind in China or with Chinese banks, he suggested.

Kiltgaard said the penalties would not be lifted until the declaration was filed, "together with an excuse in detail under oath satisfactory to the government".

"A false declaration would subject the signer to criminal penalties if and when he or she ever came to China, and would also subject the company or business separately to criminal penalties," he said.

Kiltgaard said the remedies "may provoke an outcry from foreigners, but the problem is serious," he said. "Likewise, China's companies should be prohibited from doing business with companies organized under the laws of foreign countries which do not have treaties with China authorizing extradition of persons to China for allegedly giving or offering bribes to Chinese government officials or employees."

He said the language of the treaties would need to be worked out, with the Chinese side being required to provide "some credible evidence of the alleged bribes".

"In the meantime, the Chinese side could revoke the visas and contracts until the matter was resolved in China."

He also emphasized the importance of the media press in the fight against corruption. "When the press can report honestly without worry of being shut down, it has tremendous good effect on the country," he said.

Lia Zhu / China Daily