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First Chinese named as new Interpol chief

By Zhang Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-11 07:25

First Chinese named as new Interpol chief

Meng Hongwei has been elected president of Interpol.[Photo/China Daily]

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 such as terrorism, human trafficking, drug smuggling and cybercrime," he said. "These efforts have left a strong impression on the international community and won their respect and support."

Other Chinese nationals holding senior positions in world organizations include Zhang Tao, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Li Yong, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

Xinhua and Reuters contributed to this story.

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