The Obama administration has warned China to stop sending over undercover agents to wrangle its "economic fugitives," but that hasn't stopped Xi Jinping's henchmen from traveling overseas to find the brother of a man who used to be a top aide to ex-Chinese President Hu Jintao. If that sounds complicated, so is the case of Ling Wancheng, whose brother was charged under current President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign with taking bribes, adultery, and acquiring state secrets illegally, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ling, who officials suspect may have sensitive info about Chinese leaders via his brother, has disappeared, last seen living in a California mansion, where he spent his time on the greens, dressed "flamboyantly," and communicated with neighbors via texts. "He was so funny, he would send emojis but had trouble with the language sometimes," one neighbor tells the Journal. "He was really a very funny, happy-go-lucky guy who loved life, loved golf."
Doesn't sound like someone who'd be at the center of a nationwide hunt, but that's exactly what's going on. Neighbors, who say Ling stopped responding by phone back in May, add that Homeland Security agents came poking around for him, the Journal notes; they've also been reportedly seeking out a woman named Zhang Lijun, who had been living with Ling in his mansion. Meanwhile, her ex-husband, Tommy Yuan, tells the paper he's been approached not by two mysterious men twice at the Texas school where he teaches and once at a Chinese restaurant in Dallas. He says the men didn't show ID but said they were reps of the Chinese government and noted, "If you want to protect your ex-wife, you'll give us information," as well as: "If you help us, maybe we can help you." Yuan adds, "That's when I realized these aren't the kind of guys you can joke with" and that he doesn't know where his ex is.