“At the moment, China is, for lack of a better phrase, eradicating the ‘pernicious influence’ of Mr. Meng Hongwei, carrying out a political purge,” she said. “So if Mr. Hu Binchen sympathizes with us or helps us, or expresses kindness toward us, that will mean that he will be violating party discipline. If he respects party discipline, he’ll be going against basic human goodness. So this is a problem.”

The wife of the former Interpol president who disappeared in Beijing in 2018 and was imprisoned says she fears that a similar fate awaits China’s latest candidate for a role with the international police body, AP.

China confirmed this week that it intends to seek a seat on Interpol’s 13-member governing body, but didn’t say who its candidate will be. Overseas lawmakers and rights activists fearful that China wants to use Interpol’s reach and influence to pursue critics in exile said the candidate is a senior Chinese police official, Hu Binchen.

Grace Meng, the wife of imprisoned former Interpol President Meng Hongwei, told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that she and her husband know Hu well and that they were friends. Hu works at China’s powerful Ministry of Public Security. It is part of the security apparatus that helps keep China’s ruling Communist Party in power, enforcing its tight lid on dissent.

Grace Meng said Hu and her husband -– who was a vice minister of public security before he was purged and jailed on corruption charges — were colleagues for many years. She says they were so close that the Mengs’ twin boys knew Hu as “uncle.”

“Mr. Hu Binchen is someone I know extremely well, because he used to be Mr. Meng’s subordinate. He worked with Mr. Meng for, roughly, nearly 20 years. I also have known Mr. Hu for about 10 years,” she said in the AP interview. It was conducted this week in Lyon, France, where Interpol is based and where she has remained since her husband’s disappearance, granted asylum and living under French police protection with their children.

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