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China's anti-corruption fight resonates in LatAm, says expert

Updated: 09 08 , 2016 10:30
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MEXICO CITY, Sept. 7  -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's call to fight corruption, made at the recent Group of 20 (G20) summit, resonates deeply in Latin America, according to Mexican economist and China expert Enrique Dussel Peters.

As a region that has long been held back by rampant bribery, illicit enrichment and graft, Latin America can benefit from studying China's two-year crackdown on corruption, said Dussel Peters, head of the Center for China-Mexico Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Latin American and G20 countries have much to learn from the strategy to trap not just 'flies,' but also 'tigers,'" Dussel Peters told Xinhua in an interview. "In that area, Latin America and a good part of the G20 have fallen far behind."

Underscoring the importance of combating corruption, Xi addressed the G20 Summit in Hangzhou by speaking of the issue on both the opening and closing days of the gathering.

"He spoke explicitly about the issue of corruption and the anti-corruption campaign being undertaken in China, which seems to me to be a topic that, from a Latin American perspective, is of enormous importance," said Dussel Peters.

The call to fight corruption, noted Dussel Peters, goes hand in hand with Xi's other main concern, spurring the growth of the global economy.

The leaders of the world's 20 largest economies, Xi announced on the last day, agreed to promote policies to prevent corruption in the public sector.

Specifically, Xi proposed member countries cooperate to capture and repatriate fugitive former officials that flee justice by taking refuge in other countries, as well as to recover and return stolen funds.

As part of China's anti-corruption effort, first launched in 2014, nearly 2,000 fugitives have been repatriated and 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in assets have been recovered, according to official figures.

As the world's most economically dynamic country, China is well positioned to lead the international effort to revive the global economy, said Dussel Peters.

"We are talking, in strictly socioeconomic terms, of the most successful country in the past 30 years," said the academic, acknowledging China has also set itself the task of tackling "very significant reforms and enormous challenges in the short and medium term."

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