Meng Hongwei was promoted by Zhou Yongkang, who received a life sentence in 2015.
Interpol has confirmed that Meng Hongwei, who has been missing since his recent return to China, has resigned from his position as president of the international police agency, while the Chinese regime announced that Meng is under investigation.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may have recalled Meng from Europe to avoid an incident similar to that which occurred in 2012, when Chongqing municipal police Chief Wang Lijun escaped to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, where he turned over sensitive information to U.S. officials.
Meng, 64, was China’s vice minister of public security until Oct. 7, and Interpol’s president since November 2016. He lived with his family in Lyon, France, where Interpol’s headquarters is based. Meng’s wife, Grace Meng, remains in France with their two children.
On Oct. 7, China’s National Supervision Commission, a Chinese state agency that investigates graft and political disloyalty, posted an online announcement saying that “Meng Hongwei, vice minister of public security, is suspected of violating the law and is currently under surveillance and investigation.”
On Oct. 8, public security minister Zhao Kezhi convened a meeting of senior police officials in Beijing, where he stressed the need to “thoroughly eliminate the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang,” referring to a powerful CCP official who was purged in 2014.
Was Meng a Zhou Yongkang Accomplice?
Prior to his purging in 2014, Zhou was the third most powerful official in the Chinese regime. His authority reached into China’s courts, procuratorates, police, paramilitary troops, and intelligence agencies.
Zhou is associated with former Politburo member and Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai, as well as their mutual backers: retired politician Zeng Qinghong and former Party boss Jiang Zemin.
In February of 2012, Wang escaped to the U.S. consulate in the city of Chengdu, where, according to analysts, he revealed details of a planned coup by Zhou, Bo, and Zeng. After the trial of Bo in 2013, Zhou was placed under investigation in 2014 and was sentenced to life in prison the following June.
Various Chinese-language media have reported that Meng had a close relationship with Zhou. In 2014, when Zhou was minister of public security, he promoted Meng to become his vice minister, making him a key assistant.
Current public security minister Zhao Kezhi’s Oct. 8 statement calling to purge Zhou’s influence seems to refer to the ties between Meng and Zhou.
Several overseas Chinese media have suggested that the Chinese regime was in a hurry to repatriate Meng to prevent him from revealing damning secrets, as Wang had done in 2012.
It is unclear if Meng0 passed any sensitive material to his wife, or if she would use it as a bargaining chip in exchange for the safety of her husband and her family.