The United States has repatriated one of China’s most wanted fugitives, the ruling Communist party said Friday. The move marked the first U.S. extradition of a suspect named in a list published by Chinese officials in April of 100 wanted fugitives, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said, according to the Guardian.

The move also seemed to indicate that the U.S. was cooperating in a crackdown on corruption in China. Chinese officials have argued that the reluctance on the part of Western countries to extradite wanted criminals has hindered their fight to clamp down on corruption. Chinese officials unveiled a "Sky Net" list in April to help coordinate its fight against corrupt officials who were believed to have fled overseas.

The U.S. and China do not have an extradition treaty.

“The forced repatriation of Yang Jinjun is an important development in the China-U.S. anti-corruption, and law enforcement cooperation and has laid an important foundation for cooperation between both sides in this field,” the CCDI said.


Yang reportedly fled to the U.S. in 2001 and was the general manager of the Minghe Group, a construction business that operates out of the eastern city of Wenzhou. He was wanted for suspected corruption and bribery. Interpol issued a “red notice” for Yang in 2005, South Morning China Post reported.

The country’s president, Xi Jinping, has launched a wide crackdown against corruption since he assumed power in late 2012. Officials said that only a dozen other individuals on their wanted list have been returned to China, primarily from countries with close relations with China. Talk of extradition of fugitives reportedly dominated discussions between U.S. and Chinese officials during a meeting earlier this month, Chinese news sources reported.

U.S. officials have called on China to provide more evidence against suspects wanted under Sky Net.