UPDATE 2-China says Interpol "red notice" issued for tycoon Guo Wengui

(Corrects to show a request for comment was sent by email, not

fax, in paragraph 11)

BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said

on Wednesday Interpol had issued a "red notice" for Guo Wengui,

a controversial property tycoon who has made claims of

high-level corruption within the ruling Communist Party.

Guo, who is known to have close ties with disgraced former

state security vice-minister Ma Jian, has mainly lived in the

United States since leaving China two years ago after what he

says was a business dispute with relatives of a retired top

Communist Party official.

The South China Morning Post first reported that an Interpol

"red notice" was issued for Guo at China's request on Tuesday

evening, citing unidentified sources.

The newspaper said Guo was suspected of bribing Ma with 60

million yuan ($8.71 million). Ma, who worked in

counter-espionage, is being prosecuted for graft and was

expelled from the Communist Party in December.

"What we understand is that Interpol has already issued a

'red notice' for criminal suspect Guo Wengui," foreign ministry

spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on

Wednesday, without elaborating.

A "red notice" is an international alert for a wanted


Guo, writing on his Twitter account, said Interpol was an

organisation and not a government and had no administrative

powers, and that for many years he had had no Chinese identity


"This will only make Wengui fight even more resolutely to

the end with these bad people. This is all just the beginning!"

he wrote, without elaborating.

In a live television interview with Voice of America's (VoA)

Chinese-language service broadcast late Wednesday, Guo denied

bribing Ma Jian and made fresh allegations about business

empires controlled by the families of Chinese leaders. The

claims could not be immediately substantiated.

The Chinese government had pressured VoA to cancel the

interview ahead of time, with the Foreign Ministry summoning one

of the broadcaster's Beijing-based correspondents on Monday,

sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The foreign ministry did not immediately respond to an email

on Thursday seeking comment.

While the broadcast aired as planned, it ended well short of

the scheduled three hours advertised beforehand. About 80

minutes in, a VoA host abruptly said they needed to end the

broadcast due to "certain reasons".

A VoA spokeswoman said the original plan was always to keep

the live stream to one hour and attributed the abrupt end to


"In a miscommunication, the stream was allowed to continue

beyond the first hour," a Voice of America spokeswoman, Bridget

Serchak, said in an emailed statement. "When this was noticed,

the feed was terminated. We will release content from these

interviews and will continue to report on corruption issues."

Chinese President Xi Jinping sees extravagance and

corruption as an existential threat to the Communist Party. In

the latest effort to tackle graft, state media said late on

Wednesday that the China has issued stricter regulations

requiring officials to report personal information, including

assets, to the party.

Responding by email to questions regarding Guo, Interpol

said it did not comment on specific cases without the approval

of the country sharing information on investigations and


China's Ministry of Public Security did not respond to

requests for comment.

($1 = 6.8867 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Philip Wen; Editing by Simon