1997 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security




APRIL 10, 1997

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak on the
FBI's current and future relationship with the authorities of Hong
Kong. I am the FBI official responsible for overseeing FBI Law
Enforcement relations with all foreign governments, both abroad
through our Legal Attaches, and here in the United States through the
variety of representatives of police and security services.

We currently have an office in Hong Kong within the U.S. Consulate,
staffed by two Special Agents and one support person. Hong Kong is
annually among the overseas offices of the FBI with the highest case
load of investigative matters. At this time our office there is
regional in nature, also conducting our liaison with China, India,
Nepal and Sri Lanka. An element of our planned expansion oversees
which was approved by the Congress in 1996 is to establish offices in
the PRC and India to allow for more comprehensive and realistic
interaction with those countries.

The existing relationship between the FBI and the Royal Hong Kong
Police is excellent, crucial to us, and extremely active, and has been
for numerous years. As a police service, the Royal Hong Kong Police
are very professional, very competent, and very cooperative with the
FBI. Our work with them currently runs the entire gamut of criminal
matters for which we are investigatively responsible, with emphasis on
white collar crime, organized crime and fugitives. We are able to ask
our Hong Kong colleagues to perform very sophisticated law enforcement
tasks for us, such as surveillances, seizures, arrests and
interrogations, and they perform admirably. They are a quality partner
in the fight against Asian Organized Crime, providing us with
excellent information on criminal activities which affect both of our
countries. As an agency they are very dedicated to the issue of Asian
Organized Crime, and we have enjoyed the fruits of that dedication in
arrests and convictions of criminals, the sharing of voluminous
intelligence information, and the regular comparing of the
institutional knowledge of the Hong bong Police and the FBI. In short,
the relationship with Hong Kong has been among the best we have in the

As I have noted, the Royal Hong Kong Police have been an effective,
committed and interested partner for us in our combat of Asian
organized crime. Within the last several years Hong Kong has seen a
major escalation of organized criminal activity with a nexus to the
PRC. Their assessment and ours is that reversion will intensify the
activity of the criminal triads and other groups between Hong Kong and
mainland China. Our relationship with the PRC in combating the
organized criminal groups has seen some successes, but we are unable
at present to fully assess the long term worth of our liaison in this
priority investigative category. Our domestic investigations show
clearly a rapid development of Asian Organized Crime groups in the
United States, with evidence of their activity now in at least 16 of
our states. To combat this increasing criminality, it is absolutely
crucial that we retain a viable and effective law enforcement partner
in Hong Kong and in China. That is and will remain our liaison goal in
the Hong Kong/China region. In anticipation of the reversion, we are
working hard to enhance our relationships with the Chinese

From Hong Kong, our office has had a relationship with the Ministry of
Public Security, and the Procuratorate in the PRC. These relationships
have been somewhat productive, allowing for an exchange of information
on organized crime and on fugitives. We have arranged for arrests in
the United States for the Chinese authorities, and they have assisted
us similarly in China. In fact, the Chinese arrested a Chinese
national fugitive from U.S. justice in China. We recently hosted a
delegation of Chinese police and magistrates in New York, where they
were acquiring our evidence as a means of furthering their prosecution
of the fugitive within Chinese courts. The assessment of our office in
Hong Kong and of the managers of our Asian Organized Crime program are
that the relationship with the PRC law enforcement agencies has the
potential of growing into a very meaningful one. Success in future
Asian organized crime investigations will hinge on our ability to
obtain information from partner services in the region. Our
relationship with the Chinese to date in this discipline has shown
some promise and some successes, and we look forward to continued
cooperation in Hong Kong as one way to achieve our goal's of advancing
effective and quality law enforcement.

The U.S. Department of State, the American Embassy in Beijing, the
Department of Justice, and the Congress have all approved the
establishment of a joint FBI/DEA office in Beijing. When the U.S.
Embassy in Beijing formally approached the Chinese Ministry of Foreign
Affairs to obtain their concurrence for this office opening, the
answer was "not at this time." All of the efforts of our government to
date to move that issue forward have failed. This is naturally causing
the FBI to evaluate its overall relationship with the police services
in the PRC, and we are consulting with other U.S. Government agencies
to decide upon a course of action for continued cooperation and
liaison in the immediate and long-term future. It is extremely clear
to us that only through an on-going dialogue between the FBI and
Chinese officials, will the quality of contact with Chinese law
enforcement authorities continue with greater and greater importance
as the mobility of Asian organized criminals increases.

Our understanding of the probable situation in Hong Kong after
reversion comes to us from our Legal Attache in Hong Kong and from
other sources in the region. None of the input we have received is
conclusive, simply because the Chinese have been relatively unspecific
in their projection of the liaison situation. In the Sino-British
Joint Declaration and the 1990 Basic Law, the Chinese have forecast
that there will be no changes in the relationship between Hong Kong
and the remainder of the world. The assertion has been that it will be
business as usual in Hong Kong. Under present circumstances we have to
assume that this means that we will continue to deal with the Hong
Kong Police on Hong Kong-specific issues, and that we are expected to
continue our liaison with the Beijing central authorities from Hong
Kong as well. Obviously as our relationship grows with the Chinese
services we will be increasingly concerned about the efficiency of
dealing solely from Hong Kong.

We consider the extradition treaty which was recently signed between
the U.S. and Hong Kong an excellent sign. It is our hope that this
treaty will be effective, because we have numerous occasions to ask
the Hong Kong authorities for the arrest and extradition of fugitives
from the territory. A feature of our current relationship with the
Hong Kong authorities is fluidity, with quick and innovative responses
on a police to police basis. It is paramount to our law enforcement
efforts that this remain the manner of interaction with Hong Kong. We
will obviously have to monitor this, and we will be prepared to adjust
the nature of our law enforcement cooperation should circumstances so

In a word, our liaison efforts with Hong Kong and the PRC are
extremely important to us. It is our fervent hope that we will be able
to make those relationships grow in a manner which would allow us to
successfully address the issues of that region, which are growing in
number and in complexity. Our commitment is to work closely with the
services of the region so as to be able to meet our obligations in the

I would be very happy to answer any questions the panel might have
concerning the FBI's assessment or plans.

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