A first for In­ter­pol

Se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cial elected pres­i­dent of global po­lice force

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - Xinhua and Reuters con­trib­uted to this story. By ZHANG YAN in Bei­jing zhangyan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A se­nior Chi­nese pub­lic se­cu­rity of­fi­cial was elected pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Po­lice Or­ga­ni­za­tion on Thurs­day, a move that gives the coun­try an­other lead­ing spot in an in­ter­na­tional agency.

Vice-Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Meng Hong­wei was cho­sen for a four-year term dur­ing In­ter­pol’s 85th mem­bers’ meet­ing in In­done­sia, be­com­ing the first Chi­nese to take the post. His pre­de­ces­sor was Mireille Ballestrazzi of France.

Meng promised in a speech to work to­gether with all mem­ber states of In­ter­pol to build the in­ter­na­tional group into a stronger plat­form for global po­lice co­op­er­a­tion.

Meng said he will also im­prove co­or­di­na­tion among re­gional and global po­lice forces with a view to build­ing a safer world and a more ef­fi­cient In­ter­pol that will ben­e­fit all mem­ber states.

In­ter­pol, which was founded in 1914, has 190 mem­bers, mak­ing it the sec­ond-largest in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion af­ter the United Na­tions. Its head­quar­ters are in Lyon, France.

“China highly val­ues the role of In­ter­pol and is will­ing to shoul­der more re­spon­si­bil­ity and make a big­ger con­tri­bu­tion in push­ing for­ward global law en­force­ment and se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang said on Thurs­day while con­grat­u­lat­ing Meng on his new role.

Yu Cheng­tao, a se­nior of­fi­cial from the Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Min­istry’s In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Bureau, said Meng got rich ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ter­na­tional law en­force­ment while serv­ing as vice-min­is­ter.

With Meng as the new head of In­ter­pol — a ca­pac­ity in which he must main­tain a neu­tral stance and re­spect the sovereignty of coun­tries — China will be more ac­tive in pro­mot­ing in­ter­na­tional judicial co­op­er­a­tion and fight­ing transna­tional crime, Yu said.

China has worked closely with In­ter­pol in re­cent years. Last year, In­ter­pol re­leased “red no­tices”, sim­i­lar to in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rants, for China’s 100 most-wanted fugi­tives sus­pected of cor­rup­tion. At least one-third of them have been brought back to China so far.

Meng’s new In­ter­pol post shows China is play­ing a big­ger role on the in­ter­na­tional stage, said Hong Daode, a crim­i­nal law pro­fes­sor at China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence and Law.

“China has spared no ef­forts in of­fer­ing judicial as­sis­tance to other coun­tries in fight­ing cross-bor­der crimes,” he said.

Meng Hong­wei has been elected pres­i­dent of In­ter­pol.

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