Vancouver lawyers see difficulties in China’s efforts to extract Ching for accused corruption
VANCOUVER, May 11 (Xinhua) — A flurry of ongoing Canadian court actions and the lack of an extradition treaty between China and Canada may block Michael Mo Yeung Ching from being deported to face corruption allegations in China, a Vancouver lawyer said on Monday.
“We’ve got no extradition treaty with China,” immigration lawyer Rudolf Kischer told Xinhua in an interview. “The rule of law prevails in Canada, and the law says if you’re a permanent resident, you have the right to remain in Canada.”
Ching is a wealthy developer now residing in Vancouver, who is wanted by China on corruption accusations.
Kischer said the elements of the case so far suggest that the Canadian government “has no way of kicking him out,” unless they can prove that he lied or hid information that led to his securing of permanent residency status in Canada in the mid-1990s.
Ching, 45, is accused by China of graft and corruption dating back to the late 1990s. The high profile businessman in Vancouver became a Canadian permanent resident in 1996, according to his lawyer. But Ching has since been denied Canadian citizenship.
Ching is the son of Cheng Weigao, the late party chief and governor of Hebei province, who was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party in 2003 after a corruption investigation.
On April 23, the Chinese government named Ching on a list of 100 people wanted for prosecution under operation “Sky Net” for his role in alleged embezzlement.
Kischer said it appears that Ching is not going anywhere, anytime soon. “I don’t know how they can send him back. Unless he has lied somewhere along the line — which is quite possible — he still (appears to be) a Canadian permanent resident, so they can’t just arrest him and say, ‘well China wants you’.”
He said Ching’s case differs from another notorious case of Lai Changxing — a former Chinese businessman and billionaire entrepreneur who went into hiding in Vancouver in late 1990s, as Lai was not a permanent resident in Canada, and was simply hiding here as a visitor.
Since the resolution of the Lai case, “Canada and China have upped their game,” said Richard Kurland, another prominent Vancouver immigration lawyer and researcher.
“They have exchanged more resources diplomatically, in terms of law enforcement personnel, and in terms of information accessibility,” Kurland told Xinhua in an interview. “There is now a closer working relationship.”
Kurland said Canadian lawmakers have now passed a law (that will take effect next year) to prevent foreigners from applying for and attaining Canadian citizenship unless they file copies of four Canadian income tax returns from the six years prior to their application.
Kurland called the reform “a radical game changer” that would give the Canadian Revenue Agency the ability to audit citizenship applicants’ global assets and income. He said China and Canada have also signed a tax treaty that, once ratified, would allow for cooperation on tax investigations.