President Xi Jinping today pledged to fully back Interpol in its efforts to combat terrorism and cyber crime, amid concerns over China using the global police body to target overseas political dissidents. Kicking off the General Assembly meeting of Interpol, the international police agency, here, Xi promised Beijing’s full support to raise its profile under its first Chinese head, who is also China’s top public security official. “Countries, while maintaining their own security, should take into account other countries’ security,” Xi said.
“More and more people believe China is one of the most secure countries in the world, which is an important contribution China has made to the world,” Xi said, inaugurating the 86th Interpol General Assembly here.
“China has actively participated in global law enforcement cooperation and global security governance, resolutely supported international fight against terrorism, joined global cooperation in combating cyber crimes, worked with other countries in fugitive repatriation, fighting against telecom fraud and other crimes,” Xi said. He vowed stronger support for Interpol in the next five years to raise its global influence and leadership.
The meeting is significant for the body as it is now headed by Meng Hongwei, Interpol president and vice minister of public security in China. He is the first Chinese official to head the agency. Meng’s election to head the organisation has raised concerns that the agency under his leadership may target overseas Chinese dissidents as well as overseas settled leaders from the restive Xinjiang province to get them deported back to China.
In his speech, Xi said China hopes to work closely with countries and international organisations on global security, and jointly build universal security for humankind. He spoke highly of Interpol’s important role in global law enforcement, security cooperation and combating crimes, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Since becoming a member state of Interpol in 1984, China has been committed to developing cooperation with Interpol and other member states, and contributed to maintaining world security and stability, Xi said. In order to beef up global law enforcement and security cooperation, Xi proposed enhanced reform and innovation, sticking to the rule of law and mutual benefits.
“Countries should adopt a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and jointly respond to security challenges,” he said. Xi urged promoting global security governance in a more fair, reasonable and effective way. “Countries and intergovernmental organisations should shoulder the main responsibilities of security governance, while non-governmental organisations, multinationals and civil society are encouraged to jointly work for it,” he said.
He called on countries to adhere to the UN charter and Interpol regulations, seriously fulfil conventions against transnational crimes and corruption, and improve related international regulations.
Participants from 158 countries and regions gathered in Beijing for the conference, which lasts till Friday. Headquartered in Lyon in France, the 190-member Interpol is the world’s second largest international organisation, behind the UN.