Xi Jinping says China will support Interpol, raise its profile
President’s comments came during international police organisation’s general assembly in Beijing
China will support Interpol, raising the profile and leadership of the global police cooperation agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday at the opening of the organisation’s general assembly in Beijing, state media reported.
Interpol elected a senior Chinese public security official, Vice-Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei, as its president last year, prompting rights groups to ask whether Beijing could try and use the position to go after dissidents abroad.
Xi said China’s stability was just as much its contribution to the world as its economic development and that it firmly supported the international struggle against terrorism.
“China highly commends Interpol’s efforts to protect the world’s security and stability, and will continue to support Interpol to play an even more important role in global security governance,” Xinhua cited Xi as saying.
Beijing has tried for many years to enlist the help of foreign countries to arrest and deport suspects back to China wanted for crimes including corruption and terrorism.
Such requests have met resistance, particularly from Western countries where there have been concerns over whether evidence submitted by China met acceptable standards for Western courts. There were also worries that suspects might be mistreated and would not get a fair trial in China and that allegations could be politically motivated.
In cross-border law-enforcement cooperation, Xi said, the laws of each country must be respected equally without “double standards”.
China’s Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun told the assembly that China hoped to use international police cooperation to strengthen its defence against the threat of militants returning from abroad to join groups like the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.
Rights groups have criticised China for misusing Interpol’s “red notice” system to target exiled Uygurs from Xinjiang, accusing them of terrorism, including Dolkun Isa, the general secretary of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress.
Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock said the organisation had significantly increased vetting of red notice requests from all 190 member countries and last year 99 per cent complied with Interpol’s internal regulations.
Stock reiterated that red notices were not international arrest warrants but rather an “alert system” that enabled member countries to decide whether to take action “on the basis of their own legal assessment and situation”.