The FBI has 44 overseas offices staffed with about 150 agents, known as legal attaches, and will add Beijing within a month, staffed by one or two FBI agents, said Thomas Fuentes, chief of the FBI's organized crime section.
China gave permission for an FBI
office on its soil during President Bush's visit there last month, Fuentes
told the American Bar Association's
standing committee on law and national security.
Key issues would be organized crime, human trafficking, fraud and counter-terrorism, he
said.China also will have security concerns related to the 2008 Olympics scheduled there, he
"We've been very close to having this office open over there," Fuentes
said.But then political situations interfered, like the U.S. campaign finance investigation into whether Chinese interests illegally funneled funds into American campaigns, and the U.S. surveillance plane held on Hainan island after making an emergency landing, he
"Right now because of the 9/11 attack ... sadly one of the benefits has been a number of countries have really decided to put all those kinds of issues aside and say we have to be partners, we have to work together," Fuentes
"The Chinese government, it's in their interest to have a partnership with us, it's in our interest to have a partnership with them," he
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