BEIJING — China’s most wanted corruption suspect was repatriated from the United States on Wednesday, making a dramatic televised surrender after 13 years on the run.
Yang Xiuzhu is accused of siphoning off vast riches from China’s massive building boom, stealing $39 million while working as deputy director of the construction bureau in the eastern city of Wenzhou before becoming the city’s vice mayor.
She had applied for political asylum in France, the Netherlands, and, finally, the United States, but in the end, she appeared to recognize there was nowhere left to run.
On Wednesday, two guards led her off an American Airlines plane and escorted her through immigration, as state-run China Central Television recorded the scene.
‘‘We are all Chinese. Our home is China,’’ she said, urging other corruption suspects to also give themselves up. ‘‘Please come back soon.’’
Yang ranked at the top of a list of the 100 most wanted corruption suspects China had sought to apprehend with Interpol’s help. Many are living in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The ruling Communist Party’s anticorruption wing, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said Yang had surrendered to authorities, abandoning her ‘‘resistance’’ after she was promised ‘‘lenient treatment in accordance with the law.’’
The CCDI said Yang had decided herself to withdraw her application for asylum in the United States.
In July, her attorney was quoted as saying that the 70-year-old’s health had started to deteriorate and that she wanted to return to China for medical treatment.