China Faces Intense Heat After Interpol Chief’s Mysterious Disappearance

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Chinese President Xi Jinping is facing scrutiny after several high-profile people, including the chief of the International Criminal Police Organization, went missing after the country passed a series of laws legalizing secret detentions.

Former Interpol president Meng Hongwei’s wife reported him missing after the Chinese native texted her a knife emoji in September 2018. Meng, who is among more than a million people who have gone missing in the communist country in 2018, was also China’s vice-minister for public scrutiny.

Meng is suspected of bribery and other crimes, China announced in October, adding the investigation is partly his own making. France, where Interpol is based, since elected a new Interpol president after accepting a resignation letter signed by Meng but provided by Beijing.

Chinese researchers argue the rules, which came to fruition after Jinping came to power in 2013, violate international law. (RELATED: ‘This Is About Privacy’: China Tracks Citizens’ Whereabouts Through Top Automaker’s Technology)

China's President Xi Jinping applauds during a celebration meeting marking the 40th anniversary of China's "reform and opening up" policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 18, 2018. (WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s President Xi Jinping applauds during a celebration meeting marking the 40th anniversary of China’s “reform and opening up” policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 18, 2018. (WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

Most detentions include “extreme physical or mental abuse raising to the level of torture,” with the main goal being to obtain a forced confession, Michael Caster, author of “The People’s Republic of the Disappeared,” told ABC Australia on Sunday. China is getting away with the violations, too, he noted.

“There is too much hesitance to call out China for fear of economic or political retaliation,” he said, adding Beijing has received “no international blowback.”

The only way to force Jinping’s hand is if countries stand together and push back, Caster noted.

“One state alone might not be able to stand up to China, but in concerted international pressure on China, there is power to push back against the false narratives of China when it tries to manipulate and bastardize what the rule of law means,” he said.

Reports of the disappearances come as the country wrestles with the U.S. over ongoing trade disputes.

President Donald Trump reached a major agreement with Jinping during a Dec. 2 meeting ahead of a G-20 summit, which temporarily staved off an escalating trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies. But the president has angled for different ways to gain leverage over Jinping.

There’s also fear China is using American automakers and Silicon Valley companies to expand its tech dominance. Tesla and General Motors are among 200 companies transmitting position information and other data to government-backed monitoring centers in China. The information is regularly cobbled and delivered without citizens’ knowledge.

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