Date
4 December 2016
Meng Hongwei (right), shown in this file picture with Vietnam's Coast Guard commandant Nguyen Quang Dam, could help a lot in tracking down Chinese fugitives who have fled the country. Photo: Reuters
Meng Hongwei (right), shown in this file picture with Vietnam's Coast Guard commandant Nguyen Quang Dam, could help a lot in tracking down Chinese fugitives who have fled the country. Photo: Reuters

Senior Chinese public security official named Interpol head

A senior Chinese public security official has been elected president of the global police cooperation agency Interpol, Chinese state media said.

Deputy Minister Meng Hongwei of the Ministry of Public Security was named to the post at the agency’s 85th members meeting, the official Xinhua news agency reported, but did not give any further details.

The move hands China another leading spot on an international agency and could help facilitate its high-profile efforts to track down Chinese fugitive officials who have fled the country, Reuters said.

China has worked bilaterally with countries around the world, and through the France-based global police organization, to chase down Chinese suspects as part of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping crackdown on corruption.

In 2014, China issued an Interpol “red notice”, the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant, for its 100 most-wanted corruption suspects who have fled overseas.

It has said it has brought back at least one-third of them so far.

China has been seeking more international cooperation to hunt down suspected fugitives since Xi began the drive against deeply rooted graft about four years ago.

Western countries, however, have been reluctant to help, or to sign extradition treaties, not wanting to send people back to a country where rights groups say mistreatment of criminal suspects remains a problem.

They also complain China is unwilling to provide proof of their crimes.

Critics have also said Xi’s graft crackdown is as much about taking action against his political enemies as it is about going after corruption, accusations the government strongly denies.

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