China's most wanted economic fugitive, Yang Xiuzhu, has been reported to have given up her application for political asylum in the United States, and wishes to return to China as soon as possible.
Yang, being held at Houston Immigration Detention Center in Texas, said she hoped to return to China to get access to better medical treatment, according to a recent report by World Journal, the largest Chinese language newspaper in the United States.
According to chinanews.com, Yang's lawyer has submitted paperwork to terminate her application for political asylum filed with the federal immigration court and is waiting for a reply.
Yang is expected to return to China as early as August, the report said.
Yang, 70, was former deputy head of the Construction Bureau in Zhejiang province and the head of the Office of Urbanization in the province before she fled China.
She was also vice-mayor of Wenzhou, in the same province, from 1995 to 1998.
Yang has been on the run for about 13 years and tops the list of 100 Chinese fugitives who are suspected of economic crimes and are subject to an Interpol red notice.
She fled to the U.S. in April 2003 when evidence of corrupt conduct was uncovered after her brother Yang Guangrong was arrested by the procuratorate in Zhejiang in March 2003 on charges of accepting bribes from local real estate developers.
She was accused of taking bribes worth more than 250 million yuan ($37.4 million). Of that, 42.4 million yuan has been recovered, authorities said.
Her brother was sentenced to 16 years and six months in prison in November 2004 for accepting 180,000 yuan in bribes.
Yang was arrested in the Netherlands in 2005 but escaped detention in May 2014 after being rejected for political asylum. She fled to Canada and then entered the U.S.. China and the U.S. have no extradition treaty.
Former officials such as Yang have been in the crosshairs of the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection as the nationwide anti-corruption campaign has picked up steam since last year, especially after it expanded overseas with its Sky Net operation, aimed at catching corrupt Party members who have absconded.
A third of the suspects on the list have returned to China, either by force or of their volition, according to the top anti-graft agency.