• Reuters

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Senior U.S. officials will meet in August with their Chinese counterparts to discuss the possibility of repatriating Chinese officials who have fled to America with billions of dollars of allegedly stolen government assets, according to a State Department official.

The issue is a thorny one, as no extradition treaty exists between the U.S. and China. That has made America, and other countries such as Australia and Canada, attractive destinations for Chinese officials fleeing the country and a haven for the assets they have allegedly stolen.

Western governments have long been reluctant to hand over suspects because of a lack of transparency and due process in China’s judicial system. International human rights groups say torture is used as a tool for extracting confessions in Chinese interrogations. Government officials convicted of corruption have been sentenced to death.

Alternatives to extradition exist, U.S. officials say, including deportation for violations of U.S. immigration law.

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