Meng Hongwei, Interpol Chief from China, Disappears

Meng Hongwei, Interpol Chief’s final text to his wife, a knife. The meaning is clear that he is in terrible trouble. The Chinese says to wait for his phone call.

Meng Hongwei, Interpol Chief’s final text to his wife, a knife. The meaning is clear that he is in terrible trouble. The Chinese says to wait for his phone call.

There are few international posts that China has taken. One of the most controversial ones is assigning a Chinese person to lead Interpol. Meng Hongwei 孟宏伟, Interpol Chief, is now missing in China, whereabouts and reason for his disappearance, unknown. China is well known to have a terrible human rights record towards both Chinese and foreign people within China. There is no openness for free speech, nor is the rule of law universally applied.

There are Interpol warnings against supposed Chinese criminals wanted in China, but many countries, Canada included, will not extradite these Chinese nationals back to China if they believe the person will not receive a fair trial or if they will receive the death penalty. This is in sharp contrast to China’s view.

The Chinese method of arrest is to have the person simply disappear. No information is released. Their family members are not contacted. Often family members are used as leverage to gain a confession. Torture could be used. Trials are short. Defense lawyers often cannot present evidence and may not even be able to meet the accused. Then the defense lawyers are arrested and charged. Political dissidents are routinely arrested and convicted. Invariably, 90% of the time those accused are convicted.

China is inherently political. To speak against the CCP can lead to jail time. Once arrested your family will not know you whereabouts. There are black jails where people simply disappear. The police have full power. Defense lawyers may or may not be able to see you. You may be tortured. Trials are secret and very short. This is not the Western definition of justice and fairness, where all are treated equally.

Meng Hongwei, Interpol Chief's final text to his wife, a knife. The meaning is clear that he is in terrible trouble. The Chinese says to wait for his phone call.

Meng Hongwei, Interpol Chief’s final text to his wife, a knife. The meaning is clear that he is in terrible trouble. The Chinese says to wait for his phone call.

With this backdrop it is easy to see that China’s justice system and the Western view of justice are completely and diametrically opposed. The Western definition of justice and fairness is simply not the same as China’s definition. With this background difference between China and the West, it is clear that the rift is quite large and not bridgeable.

In true Chinese style, Meng Hongwei, Interpol Chief, was called back to China and simply disappeared. His family does not know his location. Because Interpol has put out high level requests to China’s police agencies, China has admitted that he has been detained, but did not release a reason. Rumours swirl. His family has been threatened by China and is not in protective custody by the French police. This is a textbook Chinese arrest, so common within China but is so jarring to the rest of the world.

Much of the world does not understand China, especially the US. In a way Meng Hongwei’s case will show the world much more about China’s justice system and how it operates. There is nothing the Western world can do to change China, but we can understand its implications for foreign people who go to China to work or visit, and Chinese people who leave or return to China. This will affect international Chinese relations.

Meng Hongwei’s tribulations will eventually come out and will shock the world. Western people expect a fair judiciary system as well as fair treatment for his family. They will see a completely different system in China.

Fate of former Interpol chief is in hands of China’s controversial anti-graft drive explains the Liuzhi, aka “retention in custody

Liuzhi 留置, aka “retention in custody”, is a form of detention used by the National Supervisory Commission (NSC), China’s new super-agency charged with investigating corruption throughout the government, that can deny detainees access to legal counsel or families for as long as six months…

“The formula is simple,” said Maya Wang, a senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “Like others forcibly disappeared before him, including human rights activists mistreated in custody by Meng’s public security ministry, he faces detention until he confesses under duress, an unfair trial, and then harsh imprisonment, possibly for many years.”

China accuses former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei of taking bribes
The spectacular rise and fall of China’s Interpol chief Meng Hongwei
Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei ‘was never close’ to disgraced former security tsar
Meng Hongwei case serves as a reminder
How the weird case of the missing Interpol chief got even weirder

Meng’s detainment may ultimately end up being a setback for China’s aspirations to rise to global leadership. Julian Ku, a professor at Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, told the New York Times that “the fact that Meng was ‘disappeared’ without any notice to Interpol will undermine this Chinese global outreach effort.”

“It is hard to imagine another international organization feeling comfortable placing a Chinese national in charge without feeling nervous that this might happen,” Ku said.

Meng’s disappearance also puts more attention on the Xi’s widening anti-corruption campaign in China, and the country’s draconian detainment and judicial processes.

2018 Oct 08 Signs of China (4)

…It’s clear that Meng knew his trip back to China was an ominous one, and made arrangements with his wife that deviated the Party’s protocols: to publicize his disappearance and appeal to international help, instead of staying silent and “trusting the Party” (相信党). What Meng did is no less than to betray the Party. Maybe it is a matter of problematic loyalty. A Deputy Minister of Public Security knows too much and is involved in too many high-stake issues. His allegiance became questionable, and therefore he had to be pulled back at all costs. This is the only reasonable explanation we at China Change can come up with…

  1. People who hold positions in international organizations, regardless of their position or nationality, should perform their duties as independent individuals, rather than as representatives of their respective countries. But the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) affords none of its members such independence, Meng Hongwei among them. As far as the CCP is concerned, he is the Party’s man above all, and the Party can sanction him at any time as it sees fit, even during his Interpol term.
  2. It follows that Meng Hongwei, in his capacity as Interpol chief, was inevitably subject to the Party’s directives and control.
  3. Meng Hongwei’s mafia-style abduction sends a stark message to the international community: totalitarian China does not conform to international procedures and is incapable of participating in world affairs as a normal country.

China’s detention of ex-Interpol chief highlights the arrogance of its anti-corruption investigators

First time Interpol needed China for a manhunt

First time Interpol needed China for a manhunt

source: SCMP

2018 Oct 20 Detained Interpol chief Meng Hongwei’s wife says ‘everybody in China is at risk’, as she refuses to meet Beijing officials alone

2019 Mar 27 China Expels Former Interpol Chief From Communist Party for ‘Extravagant’ Spending

2019 Mar 28 Wife of Ex-Interpol Chief Says Arrest in China was Politically Motivated” Wife disputes CCP claims.

“Instead, the CCDI made vague, general, uncorroborated statements,” she said. “Chinese authorities have not formulated actual charges or adduced the alleged supporting evidence.”

2019 Mar 28 Wife of Meng Hongwei, missing ex-Interpol chief, slams ‘political nature’ of his arrest in China and rejects corruption claims

The Chinese anti-graft body said Meng Hongwei had “refused to enact decisions of the party centre” and abused his power for private gain. He “wantonly and lavishly spent state funds to satisfy his family’s luxurious lifestyle”, it said.

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