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Canadian resident on China’s most-wanted list goes back to turn himself in

Birds fly past the chimney of a thermal power plant as China's national flag flutters in a suburb in Shanghai Jan. 9, 2015.

© Aly Song / Reuters

A Canadian resident on a list of China's most-wanted fugitives voluntarily returned to the country to surrender himself to authorities, according to a notice released Friday by China's anti-corruption agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Jiang Qian, 48, came to Canada in November of 2011 after being charged with corruption and abuse of power relating to his time as a civil servant responsible for water infrastructure in the city of Wuhan.

The return of Mr. Jiang on Thursday comes as the Trudeau government is discussing a bilateral extradition treaty with China. Since 2014, Mr. Jiang has been on a high-profile list of 26 expatriates believed to be living in Canada and wanted by Chinese authorities. That list was part of a Chinese government initiative, operation Skynet or Fox Hunt, to repatriate citizens who had fled abroad.

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The charges against Mr. Jiang related to his tenure in 2004 as head of the department of urban drainage development and relocation co-ordination in Wuhan, a city of 10 million in landlocked Hubei province. Chinese authorities allege that Mr. Jiang forged documents and siphoned 6 million yuan ($1.2-million Canadian) into his own personal accounts of funds designated to compensate city residents who had been relocated because of infrastructure projects.

The authorities allege that Mr. Jiang fled China seven years later in 2011 after having been charged with corruption. The notice does not specify when charges were laid. Last year, Mr. Jiang's case escalated when he was named on a list of 100 Chinese nationals living abroad wanted on charges for white collar crimes – published as part of an anti-corruption drive by then-newly installed Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In December, 2015, Mr. Jiang's case went before a Wuhan municipal court, which ordered the seizure of deposits of 7 million yuan under Mr. Jiang's name, his 48 million shares in Shanghai Changjiang Publishing & Media and his Jeep Cherokee SUV. It is not known where in Canada Mr. Jiang resided.

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