Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China’s Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group’s upcoming “Fox Hunt.”
The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and repatriate Chinese people who have fled abroad to avoid accusations of corruption. The film is expected to show cross-border criminal proceedings and the use of Interpol’s so-called Red Notices. Production will take place in China and France.
State-backed, publicly-listed Shanghai Film Group is also behind action film “The Climbers” with Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyi and Jing Boran in the cast. “Climbers” is expected to release on May 30,2019. Plans for “Fox Hunt” were unveiled at the end of May.
Both films fit with a policy of delivering patriotic movies in this anniversary year. “As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the film is expected to play a significant role in raising awareness so as to prevent economic crimes and demonstrate the fairness and justice of Chinese society,” said China.org.
China’s role in international crime fighting has become mired in controversy in recent years. Earlier this year China arrested Meng Hongwei, the former head of Interpol and charged him with abuse of power and bribery. The incident sparked international attention as Meng, who was living in France, disappeared while on a seemingly routine trip to Beijing. His wife remains in France and argues that the charges are politically motivated.
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Fear of the Chinese justice system motivated hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong this month to march against a proposed new law that would have allowed extradition from the Special Administrative Area to the mainland. The Hong Kong government dropped its plans on Saturday.
Since 2014, Operation Fox Hunt has netted over 4,300 Chinese fugitives suspected of corruption. They were arrested and repatriated from more than 120 countries and regions, with a total of $2.46 billion (RMB17 billion) in illegal funds seized, according to Meng Qingfeng, deputy minister of Public Security, who spoke at the film’s production launch ceremony. The U.S. and Canada, countries with which China has no extradition treaty, have become top destination for Chinese fugitives, Meng said. Bringing them back to face legal action in China therefore requires the use of Interpol protocols.