About us, America, China, china's ministry of public security, Chinese President Xi Jinping, department of foreign affairs and trade, department of homeland security, diplomats, jane and jason wang, ling wancheng, obama, operation fox hunt, Politics, potus, president of america, secret agents, spies, state department, US Intelligence, us justice department, usa, zhang lijun
TO THE neighbours of their gated mansion and friends at the local golf club, Jane and Jason Wang were like any successful couple enjoying their hard-earned spoils.
“He was so funny, he would send emojis but had trouble with the language sometimes,” neighbour Sarah Matteson told The Wall Street Journal.
“He was really a very funny, happy-go-lucky guy who loved life, loved golf.”
Only three months ago the Wangs disappeared and agents from the Department of Homeland Security arrived at the home. They were looking for the couple, whose real names are Ling Wancheng and Zhang Lijun, amid a mysterious political case that could lead Mr Ling to be “one of the most damaging defectors” in China’s history, according to The New York Times.
The paper reports Ling Wancheng, who used to work at China’s state news agency Xinhua before moving to the private sphere, could have insider knowledge gleaned from his brother, who worked as a top aide to former Chinese leader Hu Jintao. Ling Jihua has since been expelled from the Communist Party and is facing allegations of adultery, bribe-taking and corruption.
While Ling Wancheng hasn’t officially been named by China as a wanted man, his name has been raised in connection with Operation Fox Hunt — a global search for fugitives run by China’s Ministry of Public Security — where agents are sent around the world to find those who have defected from the country and bring them back to face the music.
This week, the US issued a warning shot to the Chinese government over the secret agents operating on US soil who are thought to have entered the country on trade and tourism visas to find those wanted for corruption and other misdeeds.
The US government has concerns about the way these people are “persuaded” to return home and why they are sought in the first place.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told The Times foreign law enforcement can only operate after notifying the US attorney-general. US Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said that while the US is not a “safe haven for fugitives” China’s government needs to provide concrete evidence of what people are wanted for and often, “China has not provided the evidence we have requested.”
Operation Fox Hunt has also extended its reach to Melbourne in the past, where two Chinese officers arrived in the city in 2014 with the mission of finding bus driver Dong Feng and bringing him back to China to face allegations of bribery.
They were caught by local police and Chinese diplomats were summoned to Canberra to provide assurances the action would not be repeated, according to a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In the US case, Chinese state media hit back overnight, urging the US to show more “sincerity” towards Beijing’s moves to track down its corrupt officials.
“The US government’s decision to force China’s law enforcement staff to leave the country obviously reveals that Washington lacks sincerity and has failed to translate its words into action,” Xinhua said in a commentary.
“Therefore, the United States, as a country that often stresses the rule of law, should clarify the issue and by no means become a safe haven for Chinese criminal suspects.”
The showdown comes at a tense time for the two countries. Last week China’ssurprise moves to devalue the yuan rocked international markets and angered US politicians who accuse the country of keeping its currency artificially low to support the economy.
Meanwhile US Intelligence James Clapper head has said China is the “leading suspect” in a cyber attack which collected the names and personal details of government workers and contractors.
US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Washington next month.