Meng Hongwei

Last updated
Meng Hongwei
孟宏伟
Meng Hongwei.jpg
President of Interpol
In office
10 November 2016 7 October 2018
Secretary-General Jürgen Stock
Preceded by Mireille Ballestrazzi
Succeeded by Kim Jong Yang
Vice-Minister of Public Security of China
In office
10 April 2004 7 October 2018
Minister Zhou Yongkang
Meng Jianzhu
Guo Shengkun
Zhao Kezhi
Premier Wen Jiabao
Li Keqiang
Deputy Director of the State Oceanic Administration of China
In office
18 March 2013 8 December 2017
Premier Li Keqiang
Director Liu Cigui
Wang Hong
Director of the China Coast Guard
In office
18 March 2013 8 December 2017
Premier Li Keqiang
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
BornNovember 1953 (age 65)
Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
NationalityChinese
Political party Communist Party of China (1975-2019, expelled)
Spouse(s)Grace Meng
Children2
Residence Beijing
Lyon
Alma mater Peking University and
Central South University
OccupationPolitician, police officer
ProfessionLaw

Meng Hongwei (simplified Chinese :孟宏伟; traditional Chinese :孟宏偉; pinyin :Mèng Hóngwěi; born November 1953) is a Chinese politician who was the president of Interpol from 2016 to 2018. He also served as vice-minister of Public Security in China from 2004 to 2018. Meng purportedly resigned in absentia in October 2018 via Chinese officials [1] after he was arrested and accused of taking bribes by Chinese anti-corruption authorities. [2] His arrest and detention and the apparent lack of due process raised questions about the Chinese government's law enforcement tactics. [3]

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Contents

Early life and career

Meng was born in Harbin, Heilongjiang, in 1953. [4] He entered the workforce in 1972 and joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1975. [5] He graduated from Peking University with a bachelor's degree in law and obtained a master's degree from Central South University. [5]

Harbin Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Heilongjiang, Peoples Republic of China

Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, and largest city in the northeastern region of the People's Republic of China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Harbin has direct jurisdiction over nine metropolitan districts, two county-level cities and seven counties. Harbin is the eighth most populous Chinese city according to the 2010 census, the built-up area had 5,282,093 inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial city was up to 10,635,971. Harbin serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural, and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation.

Heilongjiang Province

Heilongjiang is a province of the People's Republic of China. Located in the most northeastern part of the country, Heilongjiang is bordered by Jilin to the south and Inner Mongolia to the west. It also shares a border with Russia to the north and east. The capital and the largest city of the province is Harbin. Among Chinese provincial-level administrative divisions, Heilongjiang is the sixth-largest by total area and the 15th-most populous.

Peking University university in Beijing, China

Peking University is a major research university in Beijing, China, and a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities. The first modern national university established in China, it was founded during the late Qing Dynasty in 1898 as the Imperial University of Peking and was the successor of the Guozijian, or Imperial College. The university's English name retains the older transliteration of "Beijing" that has been superseded in most other contexts.

He has 40 years of experience in criminal justice and policing. [6] He served as Vice-Minister of Public Security from 2004 [5] until his arrest in 2018. He served as Director of the Maritime Police Bureau and Deputy Director of China's State Oceanic Administration from 2013 until 2017. [5] In April 2018, without explanation, he was relieved of his membership of the Communist Party committee at the Ministry of Public Security. It was unclear whether this was due to his declining political fortunes or due to his age. [4]

China Coast Guard Coast guard of China

The China Coast Guard serves as a coordinating agency for maritime search and rescue and law enforcement in the territorial waters of the People's Republic of China. It is currently the world's largest coast guard.

State Oceanic Administration

The State Oceanic Administration was an administrative agency subordinate to the Ministry of Land and Resources, responsible for the supervision and management of sea area in the People's Republic of China and coastal environmental protection, protecting national maritime rights and organizing scientific and technical research of its territorial waters. In March 2018, the 13th National People’s Congress announced that the newly formed Ministry of Natural Resources will replace the functions of the Ministry of Land & Resources, State Oceanic Administration and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.

Ministry of Public Security (China) Chinese internal security agency

The Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China (MPS) is the principal police and security authority of the People's Republic of China and the government ministry that exercises oversight over and is ultimately responsible for day-to-day law enforcement. It currently has 1.9 million officers. It is headed by the Minister of Public Security. Prior to 1954, it was known as the Ministry of Public Security of the Central People's Government. The Ministry operates the system of Public Security Bureaus, which are broadly the equivalent of police forces or police stations in other countries. The candidate for the minister of the MPS is nominated by the Premier of the People's Republic of China and approved by the National People's Congress.

Interpol

In 2004, Meng became the head of Interpol's China branch. [4]

He was elected as President of Interpol on 10 November 2016, [7] becoming the first Chinese head of the agency. His election was viewed as a success for China's ambitions to gain influence within international organisations. [8] Dissidents feared that China would use Meng to track exiled opponents. [9] During his presidency, the Chinese government submitted extensive lists of officials and business people wanted for questioning on allegations of corruption, which critics claimed were politically motivated. His term as president was due to last until 2020, but he resigned in October 2018 after being detained by Chinese authorities. [10]

Detention

Meng left France on 20 September 2018, and landed in China on a flight from Stockholm on 25 September. [9] The same day Meng sent his wife Grace an emoji of a knife, [11] [12] suggesting that he was in danger. [13] The South China Morning Post , a Hong Kong newspaper, reported that Meng had been taken away for questioning by "discipline authorities" on his arrival in China. [6] French newspaper Le Parisien added that he was under investigation in China, suspected of favouring a company in a cybersecurity procurement. [9]

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 962,154 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.5 million in the urban area, and 2.3 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the capital of Stockholm County.

<i>South China Morning Post</i> Hong Kong newspaper

The South China Morning Post, with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is a Hong Kong English-language newspaper and Hong Kong's newspaper of record, owned by Alibaba Group. The journal was founded by Australian-born revolutionary Tse Tsan-tai and British journalist Alfred Cunningham in 1903. The first edition of the paper was published on 6 November 1903. The journal's circulation has been relatively stable for years—the average daily circulation stands at 100,000.

Hong Kong East Asian city

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and commonly abbreviated as HK, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated region.

On 4 October, Mrs. Meng reported her husband missing to the French police. [6] She was given police protection after being threatened by phone and Internet. Mrs. Meng is now an asylum-seeker in France. [14] [15]

On 6 October, Interpol officially demanded to know Meng's status from the Chinese government. [8] The next day, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced that Meng was being investigated by the National Supervisory Commission, an anti-corruption agency, for allegedly taking bribes, [16] [17] and that a task force would be set up to pursue his alleged associates. Meng was also accused of "willfulness", which public administration expert Zhu Lijia said might indicate that he "may not have strictly toed the party lines". [18]

Interpol also received Meng's letter of resignation, with immediate effect, and said the organisation's acting senior vice president, Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, would be acting president until a permanent replacement was elected at a meeting in Dubai in November 2018. [19] [20] [8] Interpol's press release did not mention whether Meng had resigned under duress. [10] Grace Meng has threatened Interpol with legal action over its lack of investigation into the authenticity of the resignation. [21]

On 26 October, Meng was removed from the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body. [22]

On 27 March 2019, Meng was expelled from the Communist Party and removed from all posts, which the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission announced. [23]

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References

  1. Graham-Harrison, Emma (2018-11-18). "'It's not justice': wife of detained Interpol chief faces down China". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  2. "China accuses ex-Interpol chief Meng of bribery and corruption". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  3. "Interpol Demands Answers From China About Its Missing President". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  4. 1 2 3 Associated Press (5 October 2018). "Missing Interpol president deeply rooted in China's security". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Meng Hongwei 孟宏伟". China Vitae. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  6. 1 2 3 "Interpol chief Meng Hongwei vanishes on trip to China". BBC News. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  7. 公安部副部长孟宏伟当选新一任国际刑警组织主席. Xinhuanet (in Chinese). Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  8. 1 2 3 Edward Wong; Alissa J. Rubin (7 October 2018). "Interpol President is Detained by China and has Quit His Post". The New York Times . Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  9. 1 2 3 "Le président d'Interpol soupçonné de corruption par la Chine". Le Parisien (in French). 6 October 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  10. 1 2 Gerry Shih; James McAuley (8 October 2018). "Interpol president who vanished in China has resigned". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  11. Rudy Ruitenberg; Lynn Chen (7 October 2018). "Interpol President Is Being Probed for Illegal Conduct, China Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  12. John Leicester; Gillian Wong (7 October 2018). "Wife says Interpol officer sent knife image as danger signal". AP News. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  13. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46919289
  14. Chris Buckley; Aurelien Breedon (5 October 2018). "Head of Interpol Disappears, and Eyes Turn Toward China". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  15. "Meng Hongwei: China accuses Interpol chief of bribery". BBC News. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  16. "Interpol Chief Meng Hongwei Quits and Is Detained by China". The New York Times. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  17. Choi Chi-yuk; Matt Ho (8 October 2018). "China accuses former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei of taking bribes". South China Morning Post . Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  18. Express Web Desk (8 October 2018). "Missing Interpol President Meng Hongwei resigns, new chief to be elected in November". Indian Express. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  19. Eliott C. McLaughlin; Saskya Vandoorne; Ben Westcott (8 October 2018). "Chinese government admits head of Interpol 'under investigation' after disappearance". CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  20. Graham-Harrison, Emma (2018-11-18). "Wife of detained Interpol chief faces down China". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  21. 公安部原副部长孟宏伟被撤销政协委员资格 [Former vice-minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei is being disqualified from the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference]. ifeng (in Chinese). 2018-10-27.
  22. "公安部原党委委员、副部长孟宏伟严重违纪违法被开除党籍和公职". Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Mireille Ballestrazzi
President of Interpol
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Kim Jong Yang