Around a dozen Chinese fugitives are believed to have fled to Australia. Photo: iStock

While the legal system in China has been at the center of negative scrutiny by rights groups such as Amnesty International, the country had extradition treaties with about 40 countries as of 2015, the state-controlled China Daily newspaper reported.

However, just a handful of these – including Spain, France and South Korea – were developed democracies.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pursuing an extradition treaty with Beijing, sparking similar concerns in that country.

Although it is unclear how many Chinese suspected criminals may be on the run internationally, their number includes almost a dozen most-wanted fugitives believed to be in Australia.

In 2015, the central Chinese government released a list of its 100 most-wanted international fugitives, 10 of whom are thought to have fled to Australia.

The majority of the list was made up of former state officials accused of corruption, named and shamed as part of President Xi Jinping’s “Sky Net” anti-corruption drive.

The release of the list was reported to have been prompted by the lack of extradition treaties in Western countries such as Australia, the United States and the UK.

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